Najib charged: A timeline of events leading to his arrest

Former prime minister Najib Razak was charged on July 4, 2018, over the 1MDB scandal that plagued the final years of his leadership.
Former prime minister Najib Razak was charged on July 4, 2018, over the 1MDB scandal that plagued the final years of his leadership. PHOTO: REUTERS

Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak was charged in court on Wednesday (July 4) as part of a probe into missing monies at scandal-tainted state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). 

Datuk Seri Najib was arrested at his home on Tuesday, less than two months after an election defeat to a coalition led by his mentor-turned-foe Mahathir Mohamad.

Here is a look at the events leading to his arrest:

2009

July

Three months after taking over as prime minister, Mr Najib Razak launches the 1MDB sovereign fund to invest in energy, real estate and other industries.

2015

January

1MDB, with debt burdens rising, misses a loan payment of about US$550 million (S$751 million).

March

Malaysia forms a special task force - including officials from the central bank, police, anti-graft agency and the Attorney-General's Chambers - to look into 1MDB.

July

The Wall Street Journal reports that nearly US$700 million of 1MDB money went into Datuk Seri Najib's personal bank account.

August

The anti-graft agency says the money deposited into Mr Najib's account was a donation, not from 1MDB. The Swiss authorities open criminal proceedings linked to 1MDB, saying the case involves suspected corruption of foreign public officials, dishonest management of public interests and money laundering.

 
 
 

2016

January

The attorney-general clears Mr Najib of any wrongdoing, saying that US$681 million in his account was a donation from a member of the Saudi royal family, and that Mr Najib had returned US$620 million in a few months.

April

A Malaysian parliamentary inquiry team slams the 1MDB board for being irresponsible, and urges a probe into its former chief. The 1MDB board resigns.

July

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) files civil lawsuits seeking to seize assets bought with money allegedly stolen from 1MDB, saying that over US$3.5 billion was misappropriated from the fund. The lawsuits say US$681 million from a 2013 bond sale by 1MDB was transferred to the account of "Malaysian Official 1", whom US and Malaysian officials later identify as Mr Najib.

2017

June

The DOJ says more than US$4.5 billion was siphoned from 1MDB by high-level fund officials and their associates.

August

DOJ says it is conducting a criminal probe into 1MDB.

December

The US attorney-general describes the 1MDB scandal as "kleptocracy at its worst".

2018

May

Mr Najib unexpectedly loses the election to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who reopens the probe into 1MDB. The authorities bar Mr Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor from leaving the country. The couple's houses are raided by police. Mr Najib and his wife are questioned by the anti-graft agency.

June

Police say nearly US$275 million of assets was seized from properties linked to Mr Najib, including 12,000 pieces of jewellery, more than 500 handbags, over 400 watches and nearly US$30 million in cash. Bank accounts belonging to Mr Najib's political party Umno are frozen.

July

The authorities arrest Mr Najib.