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Ex-Malaysian PM Pleads Not Guilty to More Corruption Counts

Ex-Malaysian PM Pleads Not Guilty to More Corruption CountsEx-Malaysian PM Pleads Not Guilty to More Corruption Counts

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has pleaded not guilty to three new counts of money laundering related to the alleged multibillion-dollar looting of a state investment fund.

Najib, 65, spoke softly as he entered his plea in the High Court. He has previously accused Malaysia’s new government of seeking political vengeance after his stunning electoral defeat three months ago and vowed to clear his name in his trial, reported ABC.

All of the charges against him involve the transfer of 42 million ringgit ($13.86 million) into his bank accounts from SRC International, a former unit of the 1MDB fund that international investigators say was looted of billions by Najib’s associates.

The money-laundering offence carries a possible jail term of up to 15 years and a fine of not less than five times the value of the proceeds of any illegal transfers, or five million ringgit, whichever is the higher.

Last month, Najib was arrested and charged with abuse of power and criminal breach of trust following a probe into SRC International.

He has pleaded not guilty to those charges and was released after posting bail, but his passport was held.

Abuse of power and breach of trust carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each charge.

After leaked documents exposed the scandal, Najib sacked critics in his government, muzzled the media and quashed investigations.

Public anger led to the defeat of Najib’s long-ruling coalition in May 9 elections and ushered in the first change of power since Malaysia gained independence from Britain in 1957.

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