Former Malaysian prime minister arrested by anti-corruption agency

According to anti-corruption agency’s statemenent, Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak faces further charges of abuse of power over the multimillion dollar looting of a state investment fund after his arrest on September 19.

Razak was detained at its office over the transfer of 2.6 billion ringgit (£477 million) into his bank account. He will be taken to court in order to face several charges under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act.

Razak was earlier charged with multiple counts of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering over the scandal at the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state fund, just months after his shocking electoral defeat. He has pleaded not guilty and his trial is due to start next year. He set up 1MDB when he took power in 2009 to promote economic development, but the fund amassed billions in debt and is being investigated in the United States and several other countries for alleged cross-border embezzlement and money laundering. Public anger over this scandal led to the stunning ouster of Mr Razak’s long-ruling coalition in national polls and ushered in the first change of power since independence from Britain in 1957. The new government reopened investigations stifled under Mr Razak’s rule and barred him and his wife from leaving the country. Also, police seized jewellery, handbags and other valuables estimated at more than 1.1 billion ringgit from properties related to him.

Razak, 65, has accused Malaysia’s new government under prime minister Mahathir Mohamad of seeking political vengeance and vowed to clear his name at his trial. According to his claims, the money was a political donation from Saudi Arabia’s royal family.

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