Malaysia’s former leader Najib in the dock as graft trial beginshttps://indianexpress.com/photos/world-news/photos-former-malaysian-pm-embroiled-in-multi-billion-dollar-scandal-5657238/

Malaysia’s former leader Najib in the dock as graft trial begins

The international scandal has been roiling the South East Asian country in recent years, and led to former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s poll demise in 2018, ending his 10-year rule.

PHOTOS: Former Malaysian PM embroiled in multi-billion dollar scandal

Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak founded the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) as a platform to bring foreign investment to the country. In 2012, American banking giant Goldman Sachs was roped in to raise investments, and over $6.5 billion were raised in the following year. The firm charged $600 million in fees for its services, and billions were allegedly pocketed by Razak and members of his inner circle. Malaysian authorities have now charged Goldman Sachs for making false and misleading statements, with penalties to the tune of $3 billion. (Photo:Reuters)

The US Justice Department, which began investigating the alleged scam, also found that over $730 million had reached accounts held by Razak himself. The money was used to buy properties in the US and the UK, paintings by Monet, Picasso and Warhol, large amounts of expensive jewellery, and even for financing films including the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ and ‘Daddy’s Home’. Razak has insisted that the money was given as a donation by a Saudi royal. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

PHOTOS: Former Malaysian PM embroiled in multi-billion dollar scandal

Razak now faces multiple charges of money laundering, abuse of power, and criminal breach of trust. The 65-year-old Razak’s prosecution, where a former head of government has been charged over graft charges, is seen as a rare occurrence. His wife Rosmah Mansor, known for her penchant for luxury goods, is also charged with money laundering and tax evasion. (Photo:Reuters)

PHOTOS: Former Malaysian PM embroiled in multi-billion dollar scandal

People hold placards reading "Love Malaysia, End Kleptocracy" during an anti-kleptocracy rally in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in October, 2017. (Photo: Reuters)

PHOTOS: Former Malaysian PM embroiled in multi-billion dollar scandal

The Malaysian economy’s recent underperformance and high debt-to-GDP ratio has been alleged to be partly because of the 1MDB scandal. According the financial rating agency Moody’s, this ratio now stands at 50.8%, a high figure compared to other countries in the region. (Photo:Reuters)

PHOTOS: Former Malaysian PM embroiled in multi-billion dollar scandal

Najib Razak is alleged to have used the political apparatus for personal gains during his 10-year rule, with his role in 1MDB being only one among many accusations against him. While systemic corruption has been endemic in Malaysia, the massive scale of the 1MDB scandal outraged voters, leading to the formation of the Alliance of Hope, a coalition of parties across the political spectrum. The coalition rallied behind Razak’s mentor and former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who had deserted Razak after the scandal broke. (Photo:Reuters)

PHOTOS: Former Malaysian PM embroiled in multi-billion dollar scandal

Former Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak leaves Kuala Lumpur High Court in Kuala Lumpur (Photo:Reuters)