Malaysian ex-prime minister Najib arrested in stunning fall from grace

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Najib, the first ex-premier in Malaysia to appear in front of a judge, is accused of pocketing 42 million ringgit ($10.4 million), and three counts of criminal breach of trust.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Najib's spokesman said the charges "are politically motivated and the result of political vengeance" by the Pakatan Harapan leadership under Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

"Mohd Najib will be charged on July 4, 2018 at 8.30am at the Kuala Lumpur court", the statement said.

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been charged with criminal breach of trust and corruption, two months after a multibillion-dollar graft scandal at a state investment fund led to his shock election defeat.

Each of the four charges carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

Accusations of massive corruption at the 1MDB fund, which was created by Mr Najib, were a major factor behind the electoral natural disaster in May that toppled his long-ruling coalition and ushered in a reformist alliance headed by his former mentor Mahathir Mohamad, 92.

Initially, Shafee requested the bail amount to be reduced to RM500,000 and explained the original amount would have forced Najib's family to resort to soliciting funds from relatives and friends in order to to raise that much money. Some members of Najib's Umno party chanted and held up placards in solidarity with their former leader.

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"My dear Malaysians, if you are listening to this message, it means that actions have been taken against me", Najib says, according to a translation from Channel News Asia.

While many Malaysians are engrossed with the updates following Najib's arrest, a close family member has chose to request the people's sympathy over the man's arrest through a social media post.

Mahathir, 92, said in an interview with Reuters last month that embezzlement and bribery with government money were among the charges that Malaysia was looking to bring against Najib, 64, adding they had "an nearly ideal case" against him.

"Let investigations be carried out".

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that his court case will be the best opportunity for him to clear his name.

Civil lawsuits filed by the U.S. Department of Justice allege that almost $4.5 billion from 1MDB was laundered through a complex web of transactions and shell companies. "I have not had a chance to defend myself", Najib said.

Since his election loss, Najib has been barred from leaving the country and investigators have seized luxury handbags, jewellery and other items worth millions of dollars from properties linked to his family.