Najib claims trial to money laundering charges

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Najib Razak has claimed trial at the High Court here to three charges of money laundering in the transfer of RM42 million from former 1MDB subsidiary SRC International into his bank account.

Najib, who shook his head when the charges were read to him, made his plea before High Court judge Azman Abdullah after his three cases were transferred from the Sessions Court.

He is accused of receiving the funds in tranches of RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million which were banked into his AmBank account between December 2014 and February 2015.

If convicted under Section 4 (1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act, he will face a maximum of 15 years in jail and a fine of not more than five times the illegal money allegedly received.

The money laundering charges come a month after he claimed trial to three charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and one charge of abuse of power at the High Court.

Deputy public prosecutor Hanafiah Zakaria made an application for the three money laundering charges as well as the earlier CBT and abuse of power charges to be heard together.

Najib’s lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said this was fair as the cases were similar in nature and related to the RM42 million.

Judge Azman then transferred all of the cases from the previous court to High Court 1.

Najib is the first former prime minister to be hauled up to face criminal charges in court.