By Anisah Shukry
The laundry list of allegations against Malaysia’s former leader Najib Razak for his role in 1MDB points to a lengthy road ahead as his trial begins on Tuesday.
The 42 counts of corruption and money laundering charges offer a window into the complex web of transactions surrounding 1Malaysia Development Bhd., the state fund that lies at the center of globe-spanning investigations involving about $4.5 billion of allegedly misappropriated funds. The probes have led to dozens of allegations against Najib, who has pleaded not guilty, while ensnaring Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in its first criminal case.
“This is likely to be the mother of legal battles in Malaysian history,” said Yang Razali Kassim, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. “It’s going to be tough. This growing array of charges also means it will take more time to wrap up the legal fight.”
Here’s a list of Najib’s charges in the order that they were laid against him:
- The upcoming trial will focus on allegations linked to his oversight of funds held by 1MDB’s former unit SRC International Sdn. He faces one charge of receiving 42 million ringgit ($10.3 million) of bribes and three counts of criminal breach of trust. He was subsequently charged with three more counts of related money-laundering charges.
- Najib was slapped with 21 counts of receiving, using or sending illicit funds as well as four counts of corruption involving $681 million that appeared in his personal bank accounts. The charges were linked to his alleged role in 1MDB deals, including a $2 billion joint venture with PetroSaudi International Ltd., a 10.6 billion ringgit bid for Tanjong Energy Holdings Sdn. and 2.1 billion ringgit of funds from Tanore Finance Corp.’s account at Falcon Private Bank in Singapore.
- He was jointly charged with then-Treasury Secretary-General Irwan Serigar related to 6.6 billion ringgit of government payments to an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund as well as monies linked to rail and pipeline projects that involve Chinese companies. Najib faces six counts of criminal breach of trust for his alleged role.
- Najib faces one count of corruption for allegedly tampering with a state audit report into 1MDB, with former 1MDB President Arul Kanda being accused of abetting him.
- He allegedly received a total of 47 million ringgit of proceeds from illegal activities, resulting in three money laundering charges.
The tally amounts to five counts of corruption and nine counts of criminal breach of trust, which carry punishments of up to 20 years and a fine if he’s found guilty. Najib also faces 28 counts of money-laundering charges, some of which carry up to five years jail time and others up to 15 years, as well as fines.
© 2019 Bloomberg L.P