Najib Razak's multi-million dollar corruption charges revealed

Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi arrives at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya to give his statement

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was arrested Tuesday by anti-graft investigators and will be charged over his alleged role in the multibillion-dollar looting of a state investment fund.

In recent weeks, Malaysia's new prime minister Mahathir Mohamad had said there was "an nearly ideal case" against Najib and that charges would soon be filed.

He was arrested Tuesday by anti-graft officials over a suspicious transfer of 42 million ringgit ($15.3 million) into his bank accounts from SRC International, a former unit of the 1MDB state investment fund that USA investigators say was looted of billions by associates of Najib.

A total of 19 days was proposed for the trial in 2019, from Feb 18 to 28, Mar 4 to 8 and Mar 11 to 15, not including weekends.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Najib's spokesman said the charges "are politically motivated and the result of political vengeance" by the Pakatan Harapan leadership under Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Najib Razak walks into a courtroom in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where he was charged with corruption offences.

On the gag order sought by the defence, Shafee said it was to stop anyone from making statements to the media and to avoid interfering with the court proceedings.

The request, said lead defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, was made considering Najib's bank accounts have been frozen amid ongoing investigations.

Wednesday's court hearing was the latest step in a quick-moving investigation into alleged wrongdoing by Najib, his family and many of his close political and business allies.

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The scandal caused widespread anger among voters, leading to Najib's ouster during the May 9 general elections, effectively ending Barisan Nasional's 61-year rule in Malaysia.

1MDB has been a focus of investigations in at least six countries, including the United States, but Najib has denied any wrong-doing.

Mahathir said in an interview with Reuters last month that embezzlement and bribery with government money were among the charges that Malaysia was looking to bring against Najib, 64, adding that Najibwas fully responsible for the 1MDB scandal.

Shortly after his downfall, a treasure trove of valuables was seized in raids on properties linked to Najib and his family - including cash, jewellery and luxury handbags - worth up to $273 million.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Razak is accused of using his 1MDB sovereign wealth fund as a "personal piggy bank" to pump money into the development of Red Granite Pictures, among other, more Wolf of Wall Street-y things.

Crowds of media and curious onlookers jostled to catch a glance of the former prime minister as he was led to a sessions court to hear the charges.

"Because of the allegations against him regarding 1MDB, he must be held accountable in court", Anwar told reporters in neighboring Indonesia.

He left a pre-recorded message to protest his innocence that was posted to Twitter.

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