Former Prime Minister of Malaysia found guilty of abuse of power

A Kuala Lumpur court in Malaysia has found former Prime Minister Najib Razak guilty of abuse of power in a case involving billions of dollars in embezzlement from the state investment fund 1MDB, the New Straits Times reports.

“Najib Razak was found guilty of one count of abuse of power in the SRC International trial,” the newspaper’s Twitter account said.

In this case, the former Prime Minister is charged in connection with the discovery of funds in his accounts belonging to SRC International, a subsidiary of the 1MDB Fund, in the amount of 42 million Malaysian ringgit (9.8 million dollars). The former Prime Minister denies participating in the embezzlement of the company’s funds and claims that he did not know about the origin of the money when it arrived in his accounts.

Najib Razak is charged in this case with three counts of criminal breach of trust, one count of abuse of power, and three counts of money laundering.

The SRC funds case is one of a group of cases involving billions of dollars in embezzlement from the 1MDB Fund that are being processed by the Kuala Lumpur court, in which the former Prime Minister and several of his closest aides are being held as one of the main accused. The corruption scandal, which has been under investigation for several years in Malaysia, Singapore, the United States, Switzerland, and several other countries, caused the defeat of the government of Najib Razak in the elections in Malaysia in May 2018. The former Prime Minister, his wife Rosmah Mansor, and several of his closest aides were arrested shortly after the election. One of the main suspects in the 1MDB embezzlement cases, Malaysian businessman Low Tek Jho (also known as Joe low), who is considered by the investigative authorities of Malaysia, Singapore, and the United States to be the developer of the embezzlement scheme and its chief perpetrator, left Malaysia in 2018, avoiding arrest. He is still a fugitive from justice.

The government of Najib Razak established the 1MDB (1 Malaysia Development Berhad) Fund in 2009 based on the previously existing investment Fund of the province (Sultanate) Terengganu. As a national investment Fund, 1MDB has participated in dozens of investment projects in Malaysia and abroad. According to the investigation, during the active activity of the Fund (2009 – 2016), more than 4 billion dollars were stolen from it.