Former Malaysian deputy PM charged with corruption, money laundering

  19 October 2018    Read: 936
Former Malaysian deputy PM charged with corruption, money laundering

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Malaysia's ex-deputy prime minister, has been charged with money laundering and corruption in a Kuala Lumpur court, The Star newspaper reported.

Hamidi, the acting president of the once-powerful party United Malays National Organization (UMNO) that ruled Malaysia for 60 years before a shock defeat in May general election, has been slapped with 45 charges, namely, 27 counts of money laundering, 10 counts of criminal breach of trust and eight counts of corruption, The Star newspaper reported.

One of the charges is related to claims that between 2014 and 2015 Hamidi used 800,000 Malaysian ringgits ($192,444) in funds from his charity organization Yayasan Akalbudi to settle his credit card debts.

As Hamidi refused to plead guilty, the court ruled to release him on bail, setting the amount of money to be paid at two millions of Malaysian ringgits.

Hamidi has already posted the first installment and has to post the second one, which is the final one, by October 26.

In May 2018, Hamidi, who used to be the Malaysian deputy prime minister from 2013 to 2018, was appointed UMNO acting president after Najib Razak, who used to head the UMNO, resigned as the country's prime minister.

The UMNO used to dominate Malaysia's politics since 1957, but in May 2018, its rule came to end, as the Alliance of Hope political coalition won the general election.

Razak faces corruption and breach of trust charges as well, with the investigation closed and reopened several times since 2011.

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