Malaysia - News

von The Guardian

Former Malaysia PM Najib Razak faces new charges over missing $681m (Thu, 20 Sep 2018)
Razak accused of abuse of power and money laundering related to 1MDB scandal The former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has appeared in court facing 25 charges related to the 1MDB scandal, including abuse of power and money laundering. Najib, who was already facing multiple money-laundering charges, was arrested on Wednesday in connection with a sum of $681m (£513m) that went into his personal bank account, allegedly from the 1MDB government economic development fund. Malaysia's extraordinary 1MDB corruption scandal allegedly involved billions being stolen from the country's sovereign wealth fund and spent on everything from Hollywood films to handbags. Former prime minister Najib Razak was arrested in the 1MDB corruption inquiry set up by his successor, which has engulfed the ex-leader and his cronies since his shock loss at elections in May. 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is a state investment fund that  Najib launched in 2009 shortly after becoming prime minister. Its portfolio has included power plants and other energy assets in Malaysia and the Middle East, and real estate in Kuala Lumpur. The fund was closely overseen by Najib. Whistle-blowers say Low Taek Jho, or "Jho Low", a shadowy, jet-setting Malaysian financier close to Najib but who has no official positions, helped set up 1MDB and made key financial decisions. After the scandal emerged, Najib purged 1MDB critics from his government, curbed domestic investigations, enacted a tough new security law and generally lurched to the right. But the issue exploded in July 2015, when the Wall Street Journal published documents showing Najib received at least $681m (£518m) in payments to his personal bank accounts. The US justice department has piled on the pressure by filing lawsuits to seize some $1.7bn in assets it said were purchased with stolen 1MDB money. Najib's dramatic election loss this year left him facing the possibility of prosecution and imprisonment. The election winner, 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad, has pledged to investigate the scandal and try to recover stolen funds from 1MDB that have been sent abroad. Related: Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim: ‘When it is denied to you, freedom is a torture’ Continue reading...
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Yoga ball murder: Man jailed for using poison gas to kill wife and daughter (Thu, 20 Sep 2018)
Khaw Kim-sun placed ball filled with the suffocating gas carbon monoxide inside car in Hong Kong An anaesthetist has been jailed for life in Hong Kong for murdering his wife and teenage daughter using a yoga ball filled with carbon monoxide that he had placed in their car. Prof Khaw Kim-sun, 53, shook his head and looked at his three other children sitting in court on hearing the verdict on Wednesday, broadcaster RTHK reported. One of them burst into tears. Continue reading...
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Bookshops threatened with legal action over book about Malaysian 'playboy banker' (Fri, 14 Sep 2018)
Free speech campaigners say letters sent to booksellers are attempt to ‘short-circuit legal process’ London-based libel lawyers representing a playboy financier have sent threatening letters to bookshops around the world in an attempt to block distribution of a new book detailing his alleged involvement in one of the biggest financial scandals in history. Free speech campaigners said the decision to threaten a book’s distributors rather than the publisher or author could be seen as an attempt to “short-circuit the legal process” around libel law and risks setting a precedent that would intimidate booksellers. Been sent two threatening emails and a threatening letter saying that if we sell a certain book we will be sued for defamation. Surely that’s a publisher/author issue not a bookseller issue? Continue reading...
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