Malaysia ex-PM, allies to face corruption fees

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Malaysia’s former leader Najib Razak and two of his allies will face corruption charges Thursday, as authorities target a growing list of figures linked to the scandal-plagued old regime.

Najib has already been hit with 32 charges related to allegations he and his cronies plundered state fund 1MDB, and is likely facing a long jail term.

The scandal played a major part in persuading voters to oust his coalition at elections in May after six decades in power and elect a reformist alliance.

Najib is due to be charged in court Thursday along with the former head of a shadowy spy agency, Hasanah Abdul Hamid, and a senior finance ministry official, Mohamad Irwan Serigar Abdullah, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said in a statement.

Najib and the ministry official will be charged “in relation to criminal breach of trust involving money belonging to the government of Malaysia,” the agency said.

The former spy chief, who headed an agency that worked directly under Najib’s office, will face similar charges, the statement added.

The anti-graft body did not say how many charges the trio will face Thursday, or give any further details.

Najib was earlier questioned at the commission’s office in the administrative capital Putrajaya for several hours before being released.

Mohamad Irwan was also questioned and later arrested.

Najib has so far pleaded not guilty to all counts against him and his trial is due to start next year.

His wife Rosmah Mansor, notorious for her vast collection of luxury clothes and jewellery, has also been arrested and charged with corruption.

The US Department of Justice, which is seeking to recover items allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB cash in America, estimates that $4.5 billion in total was looted from 1MDB.

The money was allegedly used to buy items ranging from a super-yacht, to high-end real estate and rare artworks.

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