Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was on Thursday charged along with two of his former senior aides over misappropriation of government funds.
Najib and former Treasury Secretary-General Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah were jointly slapped with six counts of criminal breach of trust involving 6.6 billion ringgit (1.58 billion dollars).
The offences were allegedly committed between December 2016 and December 2017 when Najib served as both finance minister and prime minister.
The new charges are on top of 32 charges that Najib has been facing, including criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money laundering involving funds related to state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and its former subsidiary SRC International.
Irwan had served as 1MDB chairman between May 2017 and May 2018, before resigning shortly after Najib’s government lost power in the May general elections.
Both Najib and Irwan pledged not guilty and the judge agreed their release on bail.
Former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) Director-General Hasanah Ab Hamid, another senior official in Najib’s government, was charged separately with criminal breach of trust for misappropriating funds worth some 50 million ringgit (12 million dollars).
MEIO was an intelligence unit under the Prime Minister’s Department during Najib administration.
Hasanah was also involved in controversies for writing a letter to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency before the general election in May to seek U.S. support for Najib.