Najib's RM2.3b charges: Top lawyers Shafee, Gopal Sri Ram face off

Ida Lim
Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (right) arrives at the KL Courts Complex September 20, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 — Two prominent lawyers Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram will lead the defence and prosecution respectively in Datuk Seri Najib Razak's case today almost RM2.3 billion allegedly from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Sri Ram, a retired Federal Court judge who is now a private practitioner, was appointed recently by the Attorney-General to lead the prosecution in deciding and pressing charges in 1MDB-linked cases. He will be providing the service for free.

Najib is back in the Sessions Court here where the former prime minister is expected to be charged for the third time in about three months, this time believed to be over money laundering and power abuse offences linked to a RM2.6 billion sum.

He was eventually charged today with four counts of offences under an anti-corruption law over almost RM2.3 billion, and 21 counts of money laundering offences arising from a smaller total sum.

Today’s charges are the latest on top of Najib's other existing charges over a sum of RM42 million belonging to 1MDB's former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Some of the former prime minister’s family members were seen inside the courtroom such as sons Norashman and Mohd Nizar.

This new case was brought before Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi in Criminal Sessions Court 9 on the second floor of the Kuala Lumpur court complex.

Previously on July 4, Najib was charged and claimed trial to three counts of criminal breach of trust and another charge of power abuse over RM42 million of funds.

On August 8, Najib was charged with three counts of money-laundering over the same RM42 million amount.

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