Malaysian authorities arrest former premier Najib Razak


Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has been arrested by anti-corruption investigators and will be charged over his alleged role in the multi-billion-dollar embezzlement of a state investment fund linked to the financing of 2013 Hollywood hit The Wolf Of Wall Street.

He applied to have the case transferred to the High Court, where Najib's plea would be taken, and in the event Najib pleads not guilty, the trial will be heard.

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was arrested at his home by anti-corruption officers on Tuesday.

He said he hoped the arrest was not politically motivated to hurt Umno, reported the Edge. Najib has previously denied any wrongdoing and has said he believed the suspicious funds transferred into his account were a donation from the Saudi royal family.

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The charges relate to funds that allegedly went from SRC International into Najib's personal bank account, but are only a fraction of the total amount allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB.

Speaking to newsagency Reuters last month Mahathir said that embezzlement and bribery with government money were among the charges that Malaysia was looking to bring against Najib, adding they had "an nearly flawless case" against him.

"As a normal human being, I am not flawless but believe me, that the accusations against me and my family are not all true", he said. "Let investigations be carried out", he said.

In the United States, his production company had reached a US$60 million (S$82.1 million) settlement in a suit that alleged the movie was funded by money siphoned from 1MDB.

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The scandal around 1MDB plagued Najib's second term in office, eventually leading to the ousting of a coalition that had ruled Malaysia since its independence from Britain in 1957.

Najib was toppled as leader by his 92-year-old former mentor Mahathir Mohamad in May.

Najib told Malaysiakini the money was donated for the 2013 election after he met with the late King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Saud. Bhd, which is former subsidiary of 1MDB.

Bridget Welsh, a South-East Asia expert at John Cabot University in Rome, said Mr Najib's arrest was the "inevitable outcome" after he lost power.

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Last week, Amar Singh, Malaysia police's head of commercial crime, said raids on six properties linked to Razak had led to the seizure of 12,000 pieces of jewellery valued at 880m ringgit (£165m).