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Malaysia's Najib Razak pleads not guilty to criminal charges

Malaysia's Najib Razak pleads not guilty to criminal charges

The arrangement was made after Shafee told the court that Najib's family would not have access to further funds as their bank accounts were frozen by the 1MDB Task Force.

The couple's two children Ashman Najib and Nooryana Najwa Najib were in court on Wednesday.

Each of the four charges carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

A Najib spokesman did not immediately have a comment.

Former prime minister Najib Razak was seen leaving his home at Langgak Duta here at 8.50pm tonight in a white multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), accompanied by another auto and two motorcycle escorts.

Mr Najib has always denied any wrongdoing in relation to the fund.

A press statement issued by Najib´s camp late Tuesday said the impending charges and other investigations "are politically motivated and the result of political vengeance" under Mahathir.

Soon after his win, Malaysia's new prime minister reopened the 1MDB investigations and vowed that Mr Najib "would face the consequences" if he was found to have broken any laws.

He was arrested Tuesday by anti-graft officials over a suspicious transfer of $10.4 million (U.S.) into his bank accounts from SRC International, a former unit of the 1MDB state investment fund that USA investigators say was looted of billions by associates of Najib.

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It is also being investigated in six countries for alleged money laundering.

The U.S. Department of Justice has said more than $4.5 billion was siphoned from the fund.

"I am confident of my innocence, I believe in my innocence and this is the best chance to clear my name", Najib told reporters outside the courtroom after being released on bail.

SRC was created in 2011 by Najib's government to pursue overseas investments in energy resources, and was a unit of 1MDB until it was moved to the finance ministry in 2012.

In a recorded video posted on social media hours after his arrest, Najib apologized to Malaysians but remained defiant.

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

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.

Shortly after his downfall, a treasure trove of valuables was seized in raids on properties linked to Najib and his family - including cash, jewellery and luxury handbags - worth up to $273 million.