Malaysia gov't confirms arrest of ex-PM Najib

Riza Aziz Leonardo DiCaprio Margot Robbie and producer Joey Mc Farland attend the U.K. Premiere of

Rosmah's son, Riza Aziz, arrives at MACC to have statement recorded

Malaysia's former Prime Minister Najib Razak pleaded not guilty to criminal charges on Wednesday related to a probe into allegations of corruption at state fund 1MDB, less than two months after he was ousted in a stunning election.

"The task force is also not in a position to decide whether or not Najib will be charged and/or when he is to be charged", Mr Varughese said in a statement yesterday.

"It shows the resolve of the new government to address previous abuses of power".

The arrest came exactly three years since it was first reported that US$700 million linked to 1MDB were found in his personal accounts.

United States authorities allege that a total of more than $4.5bn was stolen from 1MDB by high-level officials and their associates between 2009 and 2015. Najib has said the funds were a donation from a Saudi royal.

The attorney-general, who leads a 12-member prosecution team, asked the court to set bail at RM4 million (US$988,000) in cash and to remove Najib's passport.

Najib has consistently denied wrongdoing in dealings with 1MDB, which is short for 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

The "former prime minister" distinction here is particularly notable, as the longtime country leader recently-to many analysts' surprise-lost an election to Mahathir Mohamad.

The 1MDB government task force this week said 408 bank accounts involving funds of almost 1.1 billion ringgit had been frozen.

"People might find it hard to understand, but my son-in-law for example, he gets Birkin from his source, five or six at one go", he said, referring to the iconic handbag from French label Hermes.

Najib Razak, 64, has been accused of embezzling government money from a sovereign wealth fund worth billions of dollars.

Najib said this during a melancholic two-minute video, which appears to be pre-recorded, posted on his social media accounts on Tuesday (July 3) night several hours after his arrest. However, please believe that these accusations leveled against me and my family are not all true.

He is due in a Kuala Lumpur court at 8:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday, where he will be charged, Goh added.

He and his luxury-loving wife Rosmah Mansor were questioned by investigators, as were his stepson Riza Aziz, whose firm produced the hit 2013 movie "The Wolf of Wall Street", and his former deputy Zahid Hamidi.

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