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Malaysia's former PM Najib questioned ahead of pre-trial hearing

Malaysia's former PM Najib questioned ahead of pre-trial hearing

In a Facebook video, Mahathir thanked Indonesia for returning the $250 million yacht, Equanimity, which was seized by Indonesia off Bali in February in co-operation with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Najib Razak walks into a courtroom in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where he was charged with corruption offences.

Malaysian and global authorities want to question Malaysian financier Jho Low, who the Justice Department alleges was a key figure in the theft and worldwide laundering of US$4.5 billion from 1MDB. Lawsuits have identified him as a central figure in the 1MDB scandal, but his whereabouts are unknown.

In February US and Indonesian authorities moved to seize the yacht as part of an investigation by the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

Low also wants the USA to state any efforts it has made to secure the vessel in a status report by Aug 17, and say what actions the U.S. has taken to get clarification of Malaysia's intentions.

FORMER prime minister Najib Razak is expected to face more charges in relation to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal tomorrow.

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Low has previously denied any wrongdoing. The country's anti-corruption authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Jho Low. Low has urged the court to direct the USA government to state efforts it has made to secure the vessel and to find out Malaysia's intentions by August 17.

"We want to know where they obtained so much money to buy such an expensive yacht", he said.

1MDB is being investigated by at least six countries, including Singapore, Switzerland and the United States, over alleged money laundering and graft.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng told reporters the government planned to take inventory of items one the yacht and open the vessel for public viewing, before eventually selling it "at the highest price". Cynthia Gabriel, a member of an official team set up to recover assets allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB money, said that the Equanimity being handed over to Malaysia was "very significant".

The DoJ has sought to take custody of the Equanimity, after it was seized by Indonesia in February at the request of USA authorities as part of a multi-billion dollar anti-kleptocracy investigation into 1MDB.

He added that the seizure was done at the initiative of the US Department of Justice, which asserted ownership of the yacht on behalf of Malaysia and 1MDB because monies "belonging to us" were used to purchase it.