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Ex-Malaysian PM Najib’s lawyer charged with money laundering

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Singapore, Feb. 21, 2019 (dpa/NNN) Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s lawyer on Thursday was charged with money laundering, in a widening sweep against those suspected of being involved in crimes linked to the scandal-plagued 1MDB state fund.

The fund is the subject of an international probe crossing multiple countries, including Singapore, the U.S. and Switzerland, over suspicions that billions of dollars were misappropriated by high-ranking Malaysian officials, including Najib.

According to charge sheets seen by dpa, Lawyer Hafarizam Harun was charged with two counts of money-laundering.

The charges stem from Hafarizam allegedly depositing proceeds believed to be from unlawful activities totalling 15 million ringgit (3.6 million dollars) through cheques belonging to Najib to his law firm’s bank account in 2014 and 2015.

Hafarizam however pleaded not guilty to the charges in a Kuala Lumpur court.

On Wednesday, a former media advisor to Najib, British national Paul Stadlen, was charged with two counts of money laundering of over 14 million ringgit.

Stadlen was charged in absentia after reportedly fleeing the country shortly after the May general elections, which saw Najib and his Barisan Nasional party lose to opposition party Pakatan Harapan in a historic defeat.

Pakatan Harapan, led by two-time Prime Minisrer Mahathir Mohamed, re-opened investigations into crimes linked to 1MDB. (dpa/NNN)

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Edited by Abiodun Oluleye/Sadiya Hamza

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