Prosecution rests in first case against Malaysia’s ex-PM Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – Malaysian prosecutors yesterday wrapped up their case against former prime minister Najib Razak in his first corruption trial, paving the way for his second court case to begin.

Prosecutors told the High Court that they were resting their case against Najib after questioning 57 witnesses since the trial began April 3.

The judge will hear closing arguments from both prosecutors and defence lawyers on October 22 and will rule on November 11 whether Najib should enter his defence.

Najib faces 42 charges of corruption, abuse of power and money laundering in five separate criminal cases linked to the multibillion-dollar looting of the 1MDB state investment fund that contributed to his shocking election ouster last year.

Najib, 65, denies wrongdoing and accuses Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s government of seeking political vengeance.

The seven charges in his first trial specifically relate to the suspicious transfer of RM42 million from SRC International, a former 1MDB unit, into Najib’s bank accounts via intermediary companies between 2011 and 2015.

Najib is accused of using his position to receive the money for approving a government guarantee for a government loan to SRC, committing criminal breach of trust and accepting proceeds from unlawful activities.

Prosecutors said Najib, who set up 1MDB in 2009, was the real power behind the fund and SRC.

In his second trial due to begin today, Najib faces four counts of abusing his power to receive a total of RM2.3 billion from 2011 to 2014, and 21 other charges of receiving, using, and transferring illicit funds linked to 1MDB.