Malaysia’s anti-graft agency on Wednesday arrested former Prime Minister Najib Razak for corruption-related offences in connection with his alleged involvement in a multi-billion dollar scandal. In a statement, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said that Najib was detained at his office and will be taken to court on Thursday to face further charges.
In July, Razak pleaded not guilty after a court in Kuala Lumpur charged him with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of corruption.
Razak, who was earlier arrested, had resisted demands to step down in 2015 despite reports of financial mismanagement at the government-owned company 1Malaysia Development Berhad, and allegations that he received $681 million (Rs 4,425 crore) in his personal bank account. After he lost the elections to his former mentor Mahathir Mohamad on May 9, Razak was barred from leaving the country and the case was reopened.
The MACC said it will coordinate with the Royal Malaysia Police to record Razak’s statement before he is taken to court, reported Channel NewsAsia. He is expected to be charged under Section 23(1) of the MACC Act, 2009, for alleged abuse of power.
“This is to aid police investigations under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001,” said the MACC.
In June, Malaysian Police seized jewellery, handbags, watches and other luxury items worth nearly 1.1 billion ringgit (approximately Rs 1,800 crore or $273 million) from several apartments linked to Razak. Twenty-two officials used six machines over three days to count the cash seized in what was the country’s biggest-ever seizure. The total cash seized was around 116.7 million ringgit (approximately Rs 198 crore).