Former Malaysian PM to go on trial on February 12 hinh anh 1Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. (Photo: Reuters)

Hanoi (VNA) – Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will go on trial on February 12, 2019 on charges linked to multi-billion-dollar losses at the state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a court ruled on August 10.

The trial will run from February 12 to March 29, 2019, Judge Mohamad Nazlan Mohamad Ghazali said in a pre-trial hearing. About 50 witnesses are expected to be present at the trial.

Najib, 65, was arrested last month and has been charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust, one count of abuse of power, and the latest charge updated to three counts of money laundering.

Each count carries a fine and a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. The former PM pleaded not guilty to all charges and has been granted bail.

All seven charges against him relate to an alleged transfer of 42 million MYR (10 million USD) from SRC International, a subsidiary of 1MDB, to his personal bank accounts between August 2011 and March 2015 when he served as Minister of Finance and Prime Minister.

The former PM 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.

Najib and his wife were first questioned about the 42-million MYR transfer shortly after he was defeated in the national election in May. They were later barred from leaving the country.

From the raids on several of his family’s properties in Kuala Lumpur, police seized assets worth up to 273 million USD.–VNA