Malaysia's former PM Najib questioned ahead of pre-trial hearing

Malaysia's former PM Najib questioned ahead of pre-trial hearing

The Justice Department, one of several foreign agencies investigating the alleged looting of the 1MDB fund by associates of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, had listed the yacht among the assets it could seize and sell to recover stolen funds.

"The Attorney-General Chamber (AGC) has invoked the Admiralty jurisdiction of the High Court of Malaya at Kuala Lumpur against the yacht".

Last week, Indonesia agreed to hand over the luxury yacht it impounded in Bali earlier this year in connection with the 1Malaysia Development Berhad corruption scandal. Malaysia's attorney-general welcomed the boat being turned over, and said that "sensitive and delicate negotiations" had taken place between Malaysia, Indonesia and the USA to ensure it happened.

Earlier on Tuesday, claimants to the ownership of the Equanimity filed a petition in a USA court contesting the handover of the vessel to Malaysia calling it an "unlawful and extrajudicial" seizure.

"Accordingly the Equanimity is properly seized under the laws of Malaysia", Thomas said in a statement.

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Najib said the government should now remain focused on finding ways to repay the huge debt still owed to International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC), instead of trying to sell the yacht off to the highest bidder.

"We would like to express profound gratitude to the governments of Indonesia and the United States, especially the Republic of Indonesia Police (POLRI), in extending cooperation and collaboration to enable this to be accomplished", he said.

The proceedings tomorrow is meant as Najib's case management over his charges on July 4 where he was already accused of three counts of criminal breach of trust and also an abuse of power involving RM42 million linked to SRC Internation Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary of 1MDB.

Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia's former defense minister, had said the center was crucial to curb the spread of "violent extremism" by armed groups, including the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group. The petition questioned the lawfulness of a warrant issued by the Indonesian police to turn over the vessel to Malaysia. Time (and copious amounts of investigative work, we're sure) will tell. Find us on Facebook too!

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