By MARK RAO & RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak yesterday pleaded not guilty to three money laundering charges totalling RM42 million, as charges mount on the former prime minister (PM) who is already facing criminal breach of trust (CBT) and abuse of power allegations.
The embattled Najib claimed trial to all three money laundering charges at the Kuala Lumpur (KL) Sessions Court yesterday. The charges are related to the RM42 million allegedly embezzled from a former unit of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) — SRC International Sdn Bhd.
Under section 4(1) of the Anti- Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Act 2001, Najib can be jailed up to 15 years and fined no less than five times the alleged sum misappropriated.
The money laundering charges relate to three separate money transfers made by the accused involving RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million respectively.
Najib, who was present in court yesterday, is already facing a possible maximum jail sentence of 20 years for the earlier abuse of power charge.
The former PM was calm when he arrived at the court and when the charges were read to him.
High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali agreed that all seven charges will be tried jointly.
Mohd Nazlan extended the RM1 million bail which was granted when the defendant first appeared before the KL Sessions Court on July 4.
Both motions were proposed by the prosecution team led by deputy pulic prosecutor Manoj Kurup, which staggering RM18 billion in Goods were agreed upon by the defence.
Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah represented Najib. Meanwhile, Judge Mohd Nazlan said the media gag order application filed by the defence and the fixing of the trial dates will be heard heard tomorrow at the same court.
The 64-year-old Pekan MP was questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Tuesday evening to assist in the money-laundering investigations.
The MACC had said Najib would be charged for money laundering-related offences.
Security was tight at the court yesterday as the police wanted to prevent any commotion like when Najib was charged for CBT and power abuse last month.
A group of about 20 Najib supporters were seen at the main entrance of the court that was tightly guarded by the police.