Najib Razak pleads not guilty to money-laundering charges

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 (Bernama) — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak pleaded not guilty today in the High Court to three charges of having received RM42 million in proceeds from unlawful activities into two of his accounts four years ago, with the money belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Najib, 65, made the plea before Criminal High Court 1 Judge Datuk Azman Abdullah.

On the three charges, Najib is alleged to have received RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million, respectively, which were proceeds from unlawful activities, via Real Time Electronic Transfer of Funds and Securities (Rentas) into two AmIslamic Bank Berhad accounts of his bearing the numbers 2112022011880 and 2112022011906.

He is alleged to have committed the offences at AmIslamic Bank Berhad, AmBank Group Building, No. 55, Jalan Raja Chulan, here, between Dec 26, 2014, and Feb 10, 2015.

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.

The section provides for, upon conviction, a maximum jail term of 15 years and a fine of up to five times the sum or value of the proceeds of the unlawful activities or instrumentalities of the offences at the time that the offences were committed or RM5 million, whichever is the higher.

On July 4, Najib pleaded not guilty in the High Court to three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and one charge of abuse of power involving RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Najib looked calm when the interpreter read out the charges to him one by one.

Interpreter: Datuk Seri, did you understand the charges?

Najib: Understood.

Interpreter: Datuk Seri, do you plead guilty or not?

Najib: I plead not guilty; I claim trial.

The head of the Appellate and Trial Division in the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria, applied for the case to be combined with the case of three charges of CBT and one of abuse of power against Najib earlier in Criminal High Court 3.

Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who represented Najib, did not object to the application.

“The four charges are predicate offences while the three new charges can be said to be subsidiary  offences. It is proper that the cases be combined and heard as four charges in High Court 3,” he said.

Judge Azman allowed the prosecution’s application and transferred the case to Criminal High Court 3 before Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali for combining the charges and for the submissions on the bail.

On July 4, Najib pleaded not guilty to the four previous charges.