Malaysia ex-PM Najib Razak arrested in graft case

Malaysia's former prime minister Najib Razak during an interview in Langkawi, Malaysia on June 19, 2018. Reuters

Malaysia's toppled leader Najib Razak was arrested Wednesday and will be charged over allegations that $628 million linked to state investment fund 1MDB ended up in his personal bank accounts, officials said.

Allegations that Najib and his cronies looted huge sums from the investment vehicle were a major factor in the shock defeat of his long-ruling coalition in elections in May, at the hands of a reformist alliance headed by Mahathir Mohamad.

Mahathir, 93, in his second stint as premier after coming out of retirement to take on his ex-protege Najib, has reopened probes into 1MDB that were shut down by the former government and vowed to bring Najib to justice.

Since losing power, Najib has already been arrested and hit with seven charges related to claims he pocketed some $10 million from a former unit of 1MDB.

However, his arrest on Wednesday was more significant as it related to a central allegation in the long-running scandal -- that huge sums from the fund flowed into his bank accounts before a hotly contested election in 2013.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said in a statement that it had detained Najib as part of its investigations into the fund and "the entry of 2.6 billion ringgit ($628 million) into his personal account".

Najib will appear in court on Thursday afternoon where he faces several charges related to abuse of power, the anti-corruption commission said.

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Malaysia ex-PM Najib Razak arrested in graft case

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