Malaysia court postpones biggest 1MDB trial involving ex-PM Najib

Malaysia court postpones biggest 1MDB trial involving ex-PM Najib

Najib Razak1
File photo of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak greeting supporters as he leaves the courthouse in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 12, 2018 after being charged in court. (Photo: AFP/Mhd Rasfan)

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian court on Monday (Aug 19) postponed for a week the biggest of five trials linked to a multi-billion-dollar scam at state fund 1MDB and allegedly involving former prime minister Najib Razak.

Najib, who lost a general election last year, has been hit with 42 criminal charges of graft and money laundering at 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and other state entities.

READ: 1MDB scandal: A timeline

READ: Prosecutors seek sale of luxury homes linked to Malaysia's former PM Najib's stepson

He has pleaded not guilty and says the charges are politically motivated.

The hearing will now begin next Monday to allow time for the completion of a previous trial that revolves around former 1MDB unit SRC International, a Kuala Lumpur High Court judge said.

"If you need more time, I can stand down or adjourn ... but for now we will proceed on Monday and check again on (this) on Thursday," Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah said.

1MDB, founded by Najib in 2009, is being investigated in at least six countries. 

READ: Singapore returning more than S$50 million of 1MDB-related money to Malaysia: Police

The US Department of Justice says about US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from the fund.

In the trial in Kuala Lumpur, Najib will have to fight 21 charges of money laundering and four of abuse of power for receiving illegal transfers of about RM2.3 billion (US$550.8 million) between 2011 and 2014

Source: Reuters/ad