Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak on Thursday (Sep 20) pleaded not guilty to 25 charges relating to abuse of power and money laundering over hundreds of millions of dollars of funds received in his personal bank account.
His alleged connection to the scandal surrounding state development fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd. contributed heavily to his surprise electoral defeat in May.
The judge finally made a decision to grant bail at RM3.5 million with two sureties, but did not grant the other conditions sought by the prosecution.
After Pakatan Harapan's shocking win in the May 9 general election, the authorities began investigating, conducting home searches and bringing charges against Najib.
It was further reported that initially, his lead defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had argued for a reduction in the bail amount.
Najib said the charges will give him the chance to prove that he is innocent.
He pleaded not guilty to four abuse-of-power charges and 21 money-laundering charges.
Meanwhile the money-laundering charges include nine counts of receiving illegal proceeds, five counts of using illegal proceeds and seven counts of transferring the proceeds to other entities.
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Former Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks during a press conference after being granted bail at a court hearing at Kuala Lumpur High Court in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday.
Prosecutors, describing the abuse of power charges, said Najib used his position as prime minister, finance minister and chairman of 1MDB to obtain funds totalling about 2.3 billion ringgit (420.5 million pounds) between 2011 and 2014.
Police have said investigations show that $972 million had been transferred into Najib's bank account from three companies linked to 1MDB.
Najib was detained by the anti-graft agency Wednesday over the transfer of $681 million into his bank account, and was transferred into police custody Thursday hours before his court appearance.
Najib has said the money in his account were donations from Saudi Arabia, most of which he returned.
The MACC has not discounted that more charges will be brought against the former PM, said deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Azam Baki.
Najib also downplayed the latest charges against him, saying that once the public comprehends the facts and figures behind the case, they will realise that it is not such an "explosive" accusation.