Malaysia's ex-PM Najib charged with more corruption counts

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Malaysia's anti-corruption commission said earlier all the charges are related to a 42-million-ringgit (10.3 million US dollars) deposit into Najib's personal bank account by SRC International, a former unit of state fund 1MDB.

Najib's lead defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah agreed to the request.

The charges were added to an earlier four - three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of abuse of power - imposed in July on Najib, who founded and chaired 1MDB after becoming prime minister in 2009. Asked if he understood them, Mr Najib said: "I understand".

Yesterday, he was summoned to the office of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), a day before his pre-trial hearing in court.

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High Court Judge Mohamad Nazlan Mohd Ghazali said a decision on when the trial begins, and on a gag order issued last month to stop public discussion of the case, would be made on Friday. But reports emerged later that billions of U.S. dollars were misappropriated.

Then the Wall Street Journal reported it had seen a paper trail that allegedly traced close to $700m from the fund to Mr Najib's personal bank accounts.

All the charges relate to fund transfers from SRC International, an energy company that was originally a subsidiary of 1MDB.

Najib chaired the 1mdb the whole time while the sovereign fund became bankrupt and had to sell its assets - bought at higher prices than market value - to recover its debts, the opposition said during the elections.

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Najib set up 1MDB when he took power in 2009 for the stated goal of promoting economic development, but the fund amassed billions in debts and is being investigated in the USA and several other countries for alleged cross-border embezzlement and money laundering.

Lawsuits filed in United States courts by the DOJ allege that an estimated $4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB by high-level officials of the fund and their associates.

The prosecution was filed under Section 4 (1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFPUAA) 2001 which provides for the penalty under Section 4 (1) of the same act.

On Tuesday, a luxury yacht that was allegedly procured using stolen money from 1MDB was returned to the Malaysian government.

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