Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was charged Wednesday with corruption for embezzling millions of dollars of public money, in a stunning fall from grace for a national leader.
Mr Najib has always been accused of pocketing $700m (£517m) from the state development fund 1MDB, which he set up.
Since his election loss, Najib has been barred from leaving the country and investigators have seized luxury handbags, jewelry and other items worth millions of dollars from properties linked to his family.
In one charge sheet, Najib was charged under MACC Act 2009 for receiving kickbacks amounting to RM42 million for participating in the government's decision to provide guarantee over loans of RM4 billion from Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) (KWAP) to SRC International Sdn Bhd, formerly a subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
However, Tommy Thomas said the press should consult with independent lawyers on the full effects of the interim order secured by Najib's counsel, Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah. "I claim trial", he said in a barely audible voice as he stood in the dock at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur. "I have tried my very best but I realize that it isn't enough".
"It shows the resolve of the new government to address previous abuses of power".
Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has been arrested by anti-graft officials.
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The U.S. Department of Justice has said over $4.5 billion was siphoned from the fund.
- Police say almost US$275 million of assets found at properties linked to Najib, including 12,000 pieces of jewellery, more than 500 handbags, more than 400 watches and almost US$30 million in cash.
Najib, who explained that the US$681 million deposited was "donation" from an unnamed Saudi Arabian prince, was exonerated by the then-Attorney-General, Apandi Ali, in early 2016.
Najib tried to quash the Malaysian probe when the scandal came to light, according to the Journal. Red Granite agreed in March to pay the US government $60 million to settle claims it benefited from the 1MDB scandal.
Even though Najib has denied wrongdoing, the scandal played a role in unseating him as prime minister in May's shock election that also saw the ousting of Malaysia's ruling party of more than 61 years.
In July 2015, the Wall Street Journal published documents showing Najib received at least $681m in payments to his personal bank accounts.