KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Najib Razak has been charged with criminal breach of trust (CBT) under Section 409 of the Penal Code in connection with the transfer of RM42 million to his private bank account from former 1MDB subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd, which could see him jailed a maximum of 20 years if found guilty on each count.
He was handed three separate charges for offences amounting to RM42 million.
In the first CBT charge, Najib in his capacity as prime minister and finance minister, as well as adviser to SRC International, is accused of transferring RM27 million from the company into his private bank account at AmIslamic Bank Bhd in Kuala Lumpur.
The offence was allegedly committed between Dec 24 and 29, 2014.
In the second charge, he is accused of transferring RM5 million from SRC International into his bank account during the same period.
In the third charge, which was allegedly committed two months later between Feb 10 and March 2, 2015, he is accused of transferring another RM10 million from the company into his account.
A fourth charge on abuse of power accuses Najib of using his position to siphon off RM42 million, while giving government guarantees on SRC’s RM4 billion loan from the Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP).
The fourth offence was allegedly committed at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya between Aug 17, 2011 and Feb 8, 2012.
Each of the charges carries a maximum jail sentence of 20 years upon conviction.
Najib, who remained expressionless, was seen nodding as the charges were read out to him.
His children Nazifuddin, Nizar, Puteri Norlisa, Nooryana and Norashman were also present in the packed courtroom.
Attorney-General Tommy Thomas is leading the prosecution team assisted by 11 others. Najib was represented by a team of six lawyers led by senior lawyer Shafee Abdullah. Shafee is assisted by Harvinderjit Singh, Raj Krishnan, Farhan Read, Rahmat Hazlan and Muhammad Farhan Shafee.
The charges were read out to Najib at the Sessions Court here, with no plea recorded. The plea will only be recorded when his case is transferred to the High Court.
This comes less than two months after Najib’s stunning fall from grace in the May 9 general election, where he lost to Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Pakatan Harapan coalition.
Najib, 64, had been called in for questioning twice by the MACC in relation to SRC International.
He was arrested by MACC at his home yesterday as part of the government’s probe into state investment arm 1MDB.
He is the first of six former prime ministers to face criminal charges.
The RM42 million channelled into his bank account is only a fraction of the total amount allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB, with the US Department of Justice claiming over US$4.5 billion was siphoned from the fund.
Najib was barred from leaving the country after the May 9 polls, with over RM1 billion worth of items seized from properties linked to his family.