Thursday, September 20, 2018

UMNO, Supporters Absent As Former PM Najib, Hauled To Court To Face Fresh Charges

Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrived at the Courts Complex here at about 1.50pm where he is set to face 25 charges for money laundering and power abuse over US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) he maintained was a donation from Arab royalty in 2013.

Unlike the first time the former prime minister was charged, however, the situation outside the complex's main compound today was quiet, with only a handful of his supporters visible.

Najib appeared in good spirits as he was brought in, smiling and waving to reporters as he made his way to the entrance escorted heavily by the authorities.

Police said they are recommending 21 charges against him for various money laundering offences while the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is expected to seek four chargers over sum deposited in his accounts prior to Election 2013.

Of the 21 charges sought by the police, nine are for money laundering, five for the use of ill-gotten gains, and seven for transferring illicit funds to other entities.

Najib's supporters alleged the charges against him are "acts of vengeance" by the newly-elected Pakatan Harapan government led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The money-laundering offences under Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2002 (AMLA) are each punishable by a maximum 15-year jail term, and a fine of RM5 million or a minimum five times of the value of the unlawful proceeds at the time the offence was committed, depending on whichever is higher.

The remaining four counts are expected to be over abuse of power under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, which are punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of at least five times the sum involved, upon conviction.

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