Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was charged today with abuse of power and money laundering over his role in a major corruption scandal.
Prosecutors charged Najib with four counts of abuse of power and 21 counts of money laundering over allegations that he used his position to gain more then 2.3bn ringgit (£420m) between 2011 and 2014.
The charges relate to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a state fund that he founded and chaired, which investigators say is missing billions of dollars.
Najib has proclaimed his innocence and said: “The charges made today will give me a chance to clear my name, that I am not a thief.”
In total he has been hit with 32 charges since his shock defeat by Mahathir Mohamad in an election in May.
Mahathir re-opened the probe into the scandal after his election win and has claimed that prosecutors have an “almost perfect case” against Najib.
Prosecutors said it was a matter of “national disgrace” for a head of state to be facing such charges.
“This is a case involving a man holding the highest elected office. And him, facing such serious charges, must face some consequences in the eyes of the court,” lead prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram said, arguing for a bail amount of 5m ringgit.
Najib was released on bail of 3.5m ringgit.