Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (centre) is brought to the Kuala Lumpur High Court on July 4 (Photo: EPA/VNA)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – The criminal and corruption trial of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will begin in February next year, reported the Malaymail news outlet.

Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Datuk Mohd Sofian Abd Razak fixed the case for management on August 8, 2018, and tentatively set the trial for 19 days, starting from February 18 to March 15, 2019, the Malaysian newspaper said.

The tentative dates for the trial are: February 18-28, March 4-8, and March 11-15, 2019.

The former PM made his appearance in court on July 4 in Kuala Lumpur for corruption-related charges over his alleged involvement in the multi-billion-dollar 1MBD scandal.

Najib was charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust in his former posts as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, in association with the transfer of 42 million Malaysian ringgit (10.5 million USD) from SRC International, a subsidiary of the 1MBD, to his personal bank accounts between August 2011 and March 2015.
 
He also faced one count of corruption. Each count carries a fine and a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Najib pleaded not guilty to all charges at court.

He founded the 1MDB investment fund in 2009 with the aim of serving 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.

In early May, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission summoned Razak and his wife for investigation. Police also seized a vast quantity of valuables, worth up to 273 million USD, from the country’s former leader.

Taking office after the May 9 election, new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said one of the top priorities of his Government is dealing with the corruption and recovering the losses from 1MDB. The Malaysian Government also re-investigated the 1MDB case and set up a special committee to look into the problems surrounding this fund. -VNA