Najib’s bids second strike on money laundering charges

Najib’s bids second strike on money laundering charges

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib may make a second attempt to strike out the money laundering charges involving RM27 million in the case related to SRC International.

This was confirmed by his lead defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

“These three charges were riding on seven charges, but they were knocked out in the end and now they are standing on their own,” he said.

In April, Najib had attempted to quash the seven charges of money laundering, abuse of power and criminal breach of trust on grounds that they are vague and he would be unable to put up a credible defence.

The High Court dismissed his application on April 29, saying Najib’s claim was unsubstantiated.

Deputy public prosecutor Budiman Lufti today maintained that the RM27 million money laundering charges are valid and proper.

“We will address the challenge against the charges after we receive the formal application,” he said, adding that the prosecution wishes to proceed with the case.

High Court judge Zaini Mazlan then fixed June 2 to 25, 2020 as trial dates for the RM27 million money laundering charges.

The trial dates were fixed for next year as both Shafee and Budiman said the defence and prosecution would be occupied with Najib’s cases until next April.

Najib was charged again with the three money laundering charges at the Sessions Court in February after they were withdrawn by the High Court.

The case was later transferred to the High Court.

The offence was allegedly committed at the AmIslamic Bank branch on Jalan Raja Chulan on July 8, 2014. If convicted of money laundering, Najib could be fined up to RM5 million, jailed for a maximum of five years, or both.

The High Court also set May 30 for mention of the government’s forfeiture case against Najib and 17 other individuals and companies.

Deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Shukri Hussain, representing the government in the forfeiture suit, said the Attorney-General’s Chambers had served the notices of forfeiture on most of the individuals and companies.

Goh Gaik Ewe, who is the mother of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho could not be located.

She would be represented by lawyer M Puravalen.

Others included in the notices of forfeiture are Rosmah Mansor, film director Riza Aziz, Najib’s children and former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng who has been extradited to the US.

The seized items included luxury handbags, cash in different currencies, watches, shoes and 27 Nissan Urvan vehicles.

A total of RM18 million in various bank accounts and a bungalow in Tanjung Bungah belonging to Low’s family were also seized.

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