Former PM Najib fails to have seven corruption charges dismissed

Najib challenged criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money laundering charges at the start of his trial.

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor attend the Anti-ICERD mass rally in Kuala Lumpur
Najib faces 42 corruption charges in Malaysia's one of the biggest criminal proceedings [Sadiq Asyraf/Reuters]

Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak has failed to secure dismissal of seven corruption charges against him as his trial enters its third week.

At the start of his trial on April 3, Najib challenged the criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money laundering charges against him on grounds they lacked clarity and impeded the preparation of his defence.

However, on Monday, Judge Mohamad Nazlan Mohamad Ghazali ruled the charges would stand, adding that Najib hadn’t been prejudiced as his lawyers had extensively cross-examined 21 witnesses that testified so far. 

The trial is the first of several against Najib, who faces 42 corruption charges in one of the biggest criminal proceedings in the country

The case centres on the 1MDB unit, SRC International, where Najib faces charges including abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering involving 42 million Malaysian ringgit ($10.3m) that allegedly made its way into his personal bank accounts.

The former prime minister pleaded not guilty when he was charged last July.

The son of Malaysia’s second prime minister, Najib took the top job in Malaysia in 2009 vowing to reform the economy and the country’s authoritarian politics.

But reform soon slowed and the finances of 1MDB, a state investment fund, began to draw suspicion.

In May last year, with allegations of thievery mounting and public anger growing, Najib was defeated in the general election, the first time his United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) had lost power in six decades. 

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies

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