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Najib's stepson agrees to testify against him in graft trial

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak's stepson has agreed to testify against him in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) graft scandal.

The news came just days after charges were unexpectedly dropped against The Wolf of Wall Street producer Riza Aziz, who was accused of illegally receiving huge sums from 1MDB.

Billions of dollars were looted from the fund and spent on everything from a yacht to art in a huge fraud that purportedly involved Najib and his cronies.

LOST POWER

Najib lost power in 2018 in large part due to public anger at the 1MDB scandal, and has since been put on trial.

Mr Riza's charges were shelved in exchange for him agreeing to hand over more than US$100 million (S$142 million) in assets to Malaysia, but there was widespread anger that he had escaped a jail term.

But there was a new twist in the drama yesterday as one of Najib's trials resumed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court following a lengthy break due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Riza Aziz has indicted his willingness to give evidence for the prosecution," lead prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram told the court before proceedings began.

The case is the most significant of several that Najib, who denies wrongdoing, is facing.

It centres on allegations that he illegally received more than US$500 million from 1MDB.

Mr Riza's mother Rosmah Mansor, who is married to Najib, became a lightning rod for public anger during her husband's time in office due to her love of overseas shopping trips and vast collection of handbags.

She is also on trial for corruption.

Mr Riza had been accused of receiving US$248.17 million in 2011 and 2012 in illegal proceeds that came from 1MDB, sent to bank accounts of his Hollywood production company Red Granite Pictures. - AFP

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