Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was charged on September 20 with money laundering and abuse of power in connection to the case of the state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The charges include four counts of abuse of power, involving in 2.3 billion ringgit (556.3 million USD), and 21 counts of money laundering.

Najib, 65, has denied all the charges.

The Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) arrested Najib on September 19 for new corruption charges related to 1MDB.

Najib was arrested on July 3 for corruption-related charges over his involvement in the multi-billion-dollar 1MBD scandal. He was later released on bail.

He was charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust in his former posts as a prime minister and minister of finance, in association with the transfer of 42 million ringgit, or 10 million USD, from SRC International Sdn Bhd to his personal bank accounts between August 2011 and March 2015. He also faced one count of corruption.

Najib was later charged with three other counts of money laundering, bringing the total number of counts he has been prosecuted to seven. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Najib founded the 1MDB investment fund in 2009, supposedly to serve Malaysia’s development through global partnerships and foreign direct investment.

However, it became the centre of a money laundering scandal, allegedly causing losses of up to 3.7 billion USD and leading to probes into the financial markets in several countries such as the US, Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia and China.

From the raids on several of Najib’s properties in Kuala Lumpur, police seized valuables worth up to 273 million USD.

Najib will go on trial on February 12, 2019. The trial will run from February 12 to March 29, 2019. If convicted, he will face multi-year prison sentences.-VNA