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Former Malaysian PM Najib, ex-treasury chief charged with criminal breach of trust

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Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak and his top treasury official were on Thursday charged with six counts each of criminal breach of trust involving government funds of 6.6 billion ringgit ($1.58 billion).

The charges against Najib and Irwan Serigar Abdullah, Malaysia’s former Treasury secretary-general, were the latest in a widening crackdown on corruption.

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The two pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

If found guilty each charge carries a jail term of up to 20 years, a financial penalty and a whipping sentence but both Najib and Irwan would be exempted from whipping as they are over the age of 50.

Prosecutors said the two allegedly committed the breach of trust offense with 220 million ringgit of government funds meant for Kuala Lumpur International Airport Berhad and 1.3 billion ringgit meant for a subsidy and cash aid program.

They also committed the offense with 5.12 billion ringgit of other government funds, prosecutors said.

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Najib is already facing 32 money laundering, graft and breach of trust charges over transactions linked to state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Najib has pleaded not guilty and his trial is due to begin next year.

U.S. authorities allege that $4.5 billion was siphoned from the fund and that about $700 million was diverted into Najib’s personal bank accounts.

The corruption scandal at 1MDB, founded by Najib in 2009, led to the downfall of his coalition in the May general election.

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Several former high-ranking officials have been charged with suspected graft since the unexpected election victory of a coalition led by Mahathir Mohamad.

Last week, former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was charged with 45 offences including money laundering and accepting bribes. He pleaded not guilty.

($1 = 4.1660 ringgit)

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Reporting by Rozanna Latiff and Liz Lee; Writing by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Michael Perry


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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‘The wheels are coming off’: MSNBC panel says Trump told his chief of staff to ‘walk the plank’

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Two MSNBC anchors discussed Thursday's whirlwind day of breaking news in scandals involving President Donald Trump.

The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" joined Brian Williams on "The 11th Hour" to discuss Trump holding the G7 Summit at his Trump National Doral Miami golf course and the White House acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, confessing that there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine -- before attempting to walk back his confession.

"Did things change today, do you think?" Williams asked.

"I do feel like the wheels are coming off," Maddow said.

"For the Energy Secretary [Rick Perry] to resign, you've had two cabinet secretaries resign during the impeachment proceedings already, one of whom, the current one resigning tonight, the Energy Secretary, does appear to be involved in the scheme, at least on a couple of different levels. We have got the White House Chief of Staff who was sent out today, not only to make the, 'Yes, it was quid pro quo. Yes, we did it. What are you going to make of it?' article -- which was bracing, but then to take it back, simultaneously announcing this self-dealing, which is something more blatant than we’ve ever seen from any president in U.S. history," she explained.

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Rick Wilson rips Trump for holding G7 meeting at his ‘South Florida House of Bed Bugs Hotel’

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Republican strategist Rick Willson blasted President Donald Trump after the administration announced that the G7 meeting of world leaders would be held at his Trump National Doral Miami golf course.

Chief of staff and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney announced the severely under-performing resort would receive the lucrative contract during a contentious White House briefing.

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2020 Election

Trump impersonated a CNN anchor — and a US president — during epic meltdown at Texas speech

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President Donald Trump offered multiple impersonations during a campaign rally in Dallas, Texas on Thursday.

Trump showed the crowd his impersonation of a president of the United States -- and a CNN anchor.

"No guns. No religion. No oil. No natural gas," Trump said. "Abraham Lincoln could not win Texas under those circumstances. Couldn’t do it."

In fact, Abraham Lincoln could not win Texas when he ran for president as the state refused to print any ballots with his name.

He then showed the audience two impersonations as part of his 87-minute speech.

"I used it to say, I can be more presidential. Look," Trump said, as he shuffled awkwardly on stage.

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