Najib arrested over 1MDB scandal, to be charged today

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak was arrested yesterday afternoon in relation to SRC International, a former subsidiary of state fund 1MDB.
Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak was arrested yesterday afternoon in relation to SRC International, a former subsidiary of state fund 1MDB. PHOTO: REUTERS

Former Malaysian prime minister picked up from his mansion and detained overnight

Former prime minister Najib Razak will be charged this morning over the 1MDB scandal that plagued the final years of his leadership. He was set to spend the night in detention after being arrested by Malaysia's anti-graft agency yesterday.

A statement by the government's 1MDB task force said Datuk Seri Najib was picked up from his mansion in Kuala Lumpur at 2.35pm in relation to SRC International, a former subsidiary of state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

It has been alleged that out of billions of ringgit found in his personal accounts, Mr Najib received RM42 million (S$14.2 million) from SRC.

The arrest came exactly three years since it was first reported that US$700 million (S$956 million) linked to 1MDB was found in his personal accounts.

Mr Najib has denied any wrongdoing, saying that the funds in his accounts were a political donation from Saudi royalty, and that he has never used public funds for personal gain.

A Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) source told The Straits Times that Mr Najib could face several charges under corruption laws - which have a maximum sentence of 20 years - and the Penal Code.

In a statement yesterday, Mr Najib's spokesman said the charges "are politically motivated and the result of political vengeance" by the Pakatan Harapan leadership under Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Mr Najib will contest the charges and clear his name in court, it added.

A pre-recorded video was also released on the former premier's social media accounts, saying he and his family are "being tested".

Mr Najib's stepson Riza Aziz was also being questioned yesterday at the MACC headquarters, when the former prime minister was taken into custody at the same premises.

The US Department of Justice had alleged that Mr Riza had used funds from 1MDB to finance some of his movies.

READ MORE: Report and analysis on Najib’s arrest.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2018, with the headline 'Najib arrested over 1MDB scandal, to be charged today'. Print Edition | Subscribe