Najib Razak was reportedly charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of using his position for gratification as part of a probe into missing money from state fund 1MDB. Each charge carries reportedly a penalty of up to 20 years in Jail.
However, former Malaysian prime minister pleaded not guilty to the charges. According to Reuters, Najib Razak has denied wrongdoing.
Earlier in the day, Malaysia's news agency Bernama reported that Najib Razak was expected to face more than 10 counts of committing criminal breach of trust linked to SRC International Sdn Bhd, an energy company that was originally a subsidiary of 1MDB, which was founded by former prime minister.
In June, Malaysian Finance Ministry has revealed documents which have triggered a corruption scandal related to the previous government, which was headed by Najib Razak from 2009 till 2018. Malaysia’s new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said the taskforce probing the 1MDB embezzlement had an almost perfect case against Najib.
In May and June, the authorities searched Najib’s properties and seized nearly $273 million worth of jewelry and valuables from the properties belonging to former prime minister.
According to AFP, Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor were questioned by investigators, as were his stepson Riza Aziz, whose firm produced the movie "The Wolf of Wall Street".
According to the Wall Street Journal reports, $10.6 million originating from SRC International Sdn Bhd was transfered to Najib's personal bank accounts, only a fraction of hundreds of millions of dollars from 1MDB that was reportedly funelled to him. Najib Razak and his former colleagues and allies are reportedly accused of plundering billions of dollars from the state-run fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad to purchase real estate, jewelry and artworks.
According to AFP, Najib Razak's representatives have issued a press statement late on Tuesday that has said the impending charges and other investigations "were politically motivated and was the result of political vengeance" under Mahathir.