Najib slapped with 3 more money laundering charges, no additional bail imposed

KUALA LUMPUR: Najib Razak has been slapped with three charges of money-laundering amounting to RM47 milllion belonging to former 1MDB subsidiary SRC International Bhd, a day after the same charges were withdrawn by the High Court.

The former prime minister today claimed trial in the Sessions Court when the charges were read out to him again.

He is accused of being involved in money laundering through his three AmPrivate Banking accounts.

The offences were allegedly committed at AmIslamic Bank Berhad on Jalan Raja Chulan on July 8, 2014 under Section 4(1)(a) of the 2001 Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act.

If convicted, Najib could be fined up to RM5 million or imprisonment not exceeding five years or both.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Manoj Kurup informed Sessions Court judge Azman Ahmad that the prosecution had applied for the case to be transferred to the High Court and was not asking for additional bail to be imposed against Najib.

“He can be free on a personal bond with no surety,” Manoj said.

Azman tentatively fixed the case for mention on March 8 pending a decision by the High Court on whether to accept the prosecution’s application to transfer the case.

Najib’s lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah thanked the prosecution for not imposing additional bail.

Najib had posted bail of a total of RM6 million to secure his freedom when slapped with 39 other charges.

The three new charges were framed against Najib in the High Court on Jan 28 but the prosecution withdrew them yesterday on technical grounds.

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, who appeared before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, said Najib would be charged again in the Sessions Court.

Najib, 66, faces a total of 42 charges since the prosecution hauled him to court in July.

He is also facing six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust in the transfer of RM42 million into his account from SRC International.

He is also accused of abusing his power as the prime minister by giving government guarantees on SRC International’s RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Inc.

On Sept 20, Najib claimed trial in the Sessions Court to four counts of corruption amounting to RM2.282 billion in 1MDB funds and 21 money laundering charges.

On Oct 25, he and former Treasury secretary-general Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah were also charged with six counts of criminal breach of trust involving RM6.6 billion owned by the Malaysian government.

On Dec 12, the former prime minister pleaded not guilty to a charge of using his position by ordering the Final Audit Report on 1MDB to be amended before being tabled at the National Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The trial on seven charges of money laundering, abuse of power and CBT framed against Najib last year in relation to SRC International is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.