Former Malaysian leader faces court

World | Agence France-Presse 11 Feb 2019

Malaysia's toppled leader Najib Razak will go on trial tomorrow over a financial scandal that contributed to the fall of his long-ruling coalition.

The former prime minister and his cronies are accused of stealing US$4.5 billion (HK$35.3 billion) from Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB in a fraud that stretched from Switzerland to the Seychelles.

A US$250-million super-yacht, high-end real estate, and Monet and Van Gogh artworks were among the items bought from public coffers.

The scandal ensnared high-profile celebrities, while the new Malaysian government accused Wall Street titan Goldman Sachs of stealing billions during its work with 1MDB.

The trial centers on allegations that 42 million ringgit (HK$81 million) was transferred from SRC International, a former 1MDB unit, into Najib's personal bank accounts.

The case involves three counts of money-laundering, three of criminal breach of trust and one of abuse of power.

Najib has denied any wrongdoing.

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