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Jailed Malaysian ex-leader Najib acquitted of audit charges

Jailed former Prime Minister Najib Razak has been acquitted of a charge of tampering with auditing, a judge said Friday, but will continue to serve his 12-year sentence from another case.

High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said prosecutors had not presented sufficient evidence to prove their case that Najib tampered with an official audit report on scandal-plagued sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

Najib’s co-accused, former 1MDB chief Arul Kanda Kandasamy, was also acquitted.

“The first defendant (Arul Kanda) is released and acquitted of the charges. The second defendant (Najib) will be released and acquitted of the charges against him,” the judge told the court.

The indictment, dismissed on Friday, focused on allegations that in February 2016 Najib ordered the government’s official audit body to amend a report on sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

He was reportedly assisted by Arul Kanda, who was the fund’s president and chief executive officer at the time.

Najib, 69, was brought to court on Friday from Kajang prison, where he is currently serving a 12-year sentence on corruption charges related to the looting of 1MDB funds.

His acquittal of the tampering charges does not affect his current prison sentence.

Friday’s court ruling has eased the pressure on Najib, but the former leader still faces dozens of other charges that could prolong his stay in prison.

Most of the charges relate to his alleged role in the 1MDB financial scandal, which had sparked investigations around the world – including in the US, Switzerland and Singapore – into using their financial systems to launder the looted money.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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