]>> Former Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak has been charged with three counts of money laundering. On Wednesday, the embattled former leader was charged as part of a probe into money missing from state fund, 1MDB. Najib plead not guilty to the charges and has consistently claimed no wrong-doing.
And his lawyer reinforced the claim.>> So I want to stress this got nothing to do with what I'm doing.>> The charges were later transferred at around $10 million from a former 1MDB unit named, SRC International into Najib's personal bank account. Reuters' Rozanna Latiff is at the court house.
>> These charges today are in addition to four other charges that Najib is already facing for criminal breach of trust and abuse of power. In total he's facing seven charges. Each offense carries a heavy punishment of 15 to 20 years imprisonment as well as heavy fines. Najib has plead not guilty.
But we expect that he will face more charges in the coming months as the funds in the SRC case represent just a small fraction of what officials have said was stolen from 1MDB.>> Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, have been barred from leaving Malaysia since he lost an election to his former mentor turned political rival, Mahathir Mohamad.
Immediately after the election, Mahathir relaunched a long standing investigation into 1MDB. Najib founded 1MDB nearly a decade ago and was at the head of its advisory board. On Tuesday, a $250 million super yacht impounded as part of the hunt for missing 1MDB linked assets, arrived back in Asia.
The boat named Equanimity was seized in February in Bali at the request of US authorities investigating the funds. It arrived back in a port near the capital Kuala Lumpur, under tight security. It's among assets including real estate, jewelry, and a painting by Picasso that the US Department of Justice says were bought with stolen finds.
Lawsuits filed by the DOJ estimate $4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB.