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World

AFP
November 6, 2018
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Ally of Najib charged in $63m graft case

World

AFP
November 6, 2018

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KUALA LUMPUR: An ally of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak was charged with graft on Monday, the latest figure from the toppled scandal-plagued government to be targeted in an anti-corruption drive.

Since its shock victory in May elections, the government of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed has filed dozens of corruption charges against Najib, his wife Rosmah Mansor and a string of other ex-officials associated with the long-ruling former regime.

On Monday, Musa Aman, the influential former chief minister of the eastern state of Sabah, was charged with 35 counts of graft for allegedly receiving $63 million in bribes while awarding timber concessions.

He was one of many entrenched politicians from the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party to be unseated at the polls by a Mahathir-led reformist alliance. Musa, 67, was arrested by anti-graft officials and brought to a Kuala Lumpur court where he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

"I will fight this case to clear my name," Musa told reporters as he exited court after being released on a bail of two million ringgit ($479,000). Musa formerly headed UMNO in Sabah, Malaysia’s second biggest state that is rich in oil, gas and timber. He is the older brother of former foreign minister Anifah Aman.

The once-powerful UMNO, the main party in the Barisan Nasional coalition that had ruled Malaysia since its independence from Britain in 1957, has been rocked by desertions after its humiliating defeat.

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