Najib claims trial to 25 charges (Updated)

21 Sep 2018 / 08:26 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak today claimed trial in the sessions court to 25 charges of money laundering and power abuse involving RM2.6 billion linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
He was charged with four counts of power abuse under Section 23 (1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 and 21 counts of money laundering under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 (AMLA).
In July, Najib was charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust over the transfer of RM42 million into his account from former 1MDB unit SRC International.
He was then said to have transferred RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million from SRC International into his AmBank account between December 2014 and March 2015. He was also accused of abusing his power as prime minister by giving government guarantees on SRC's RM4 billion loan from the Retirement Fund Inc. Another three charges under money laundering laws were filed against him in August.
On the four charges of power abuse today, Najib is accused of misusing his positions as prime minister, finance minister and 1MDB advisory board chairman to secure gratification of RM60.63 million, RM90.9 million, RM2.08 billion and RM49.93 million between February 2011 and December 2014.
He is accused of abusing his positions to:
>> secure gratification of RM60.63 million for himself by obtaining Cabinet consent for the federal government to provide a guarantee to Terengganu Investment Authority Berhad (TIA) to enable it to obtain loans of RM5 billion by way of the Islamic Medium Term Notes Programme and causing TIA's name to be changed to 1MDB, a company in which he had a direct interest;
>> obtain gratification of RM90.9 million by approving through 1MDB's wholly-owned subsidiary, 1MDB Energy Sdn Bhd, a binding bid offer of RM10.6 billion for the proposed acquisition of Tanjong Energy Holdings Sdn Bhd, and approving the acquisition of Mastika Lagenda Sdn Bhd at an aggregate price of RM2.75 billion and 1MDB's undertaking of issuance of US$1.75 billion 10-year-structured loan notes.
>> obtain gratification of RM2.08 billion by approving 1MDB's joint venture agreement with Aabar Investment PJS and approving a Letter of Support to 1MDB Global Investment Limited for the purpose of supporting bond issues amounting to US$3 billion.
>> obtain gratification of RM49.93 million by directing the 1MDB board of directors to approve 1MDB Energy Holding Limited to obtain a term loan facility of up to US$975 million from Deutsche Bank AG for the purpose of 1MDB Energy Group IPO.
Each offence carries a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the value of the gratification.
For the first nine charges under AMLA, Najib was accused of receiving money in tranches of RM155 million, RM155 million, RM155 million, RM188 million, RM231 million, RM138 million, RM152 million, RM304 million and RM602 million from an account belonging to Tanore Finance Corporation in Falcon Private Bank Singapore into his AmIslamic Bank Berhad account number 2112022009694.
On the next five charges, he was accused of paying RM20 million to Umno, RM100,000 to Batu Kawan Umno, RM246,000 to one Lim Soon Peng, RM2 million to Orb Solutions and RM303,000 to Semarak Konsortium.
Najib is also alleged to have committed money laundering by making five transfers of RM656 million, RM326 million, RM327 million, RM181 million and RM545 million to Tanore Finance Corp's account in Falcon Private Bank Singapore and two transfers of RM150 million and RM12 million to his other accounts.
The offences are alleged to have been committed at the AmIslamic Bank Berhad branch in Jalan Raja Chulan between March 22 and Aug 30, 2013.
Each of the charges carry a penalty of up to RM5 million fine or imprisonment of up to five years, or both.
It took a total of 35 minutes to read the charges in court to Najib, who arrived at about 2.10pm accompanied by MACC officers.
His lawyer, Tan Sri Mohd Shafee Abdullah, said he would be making an appeal for the case to be heard in the High Court.
Deputy public prosecutor Akram Garib asked the judge to set bail at RM5 million, but Mohd Shafee asked for a sum of RM500,000.
Sessions judge Azura Alwi set bail at RM3.5 million in two sureties and allowed RM1 million to be paid today and the rest to be posted by Sept 28.
Outside the court, Najib remained upbeat, saying he can now prove his innocence.
"I am happy because now I have the opportunity to clear my name from this RM2.6 billion issue and prove that I am not a thief."
Meanwhile, MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Azam Baki said Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor could be charged next.
He said several other people also may be charged over the case, adding that Najib may also face more charges.

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