A Malaysian court heard an appeal Monday by former Prime Minister Najib Razak of his conviction last year in connection with the massive graft scandal at state-owned 1Malaysia Development Berhad or 1MDB investment fund. The 67-year-old Najib was sentenced to 12 years in prison on charges of abuse of power, breach of trust and money laundering. Prosecutors accused Najib of illegally receiving nearly $10 million from SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB. Najib claims he was misled by Malaysian financier Jho Low and other rogue 1MDB officials into believing the money deposited into his personal accounts was donated by the Saudi royal family. Najib faces as many as 42 charges involved with the embezzlement of up to $4.5 billion from 1MDB, which he created in 2009 to spur Malaysia’s economic development. U.S. investigators say the missing money was used to buy hotels, luxury items such as a yacht, jewelry and classic artwork, and to finance the 2013 Hollywood feature film The Wolf … [Read more...] about Ex-Malaysian PM Najib Begins Appeal of 2020 Corruption Conviction
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - North Korea said on Friday it would sever diplomatic relations with Malaysia after the Southeast Asian nation extradited a North Korean man to the United States to face money-laundering charges this week. Malaysia denounced North Korea's move as unwarranted and disruptive to regional peace, adding that the extradition had been carried out according to law. North Korea did not name its citizen in a statement carried by state media KCNA, but Malaysia said Mun Chol Myong, who was arrested in 2019, was extradited on Wednesday after he had already exhausted several legal appeals. "Malaysia denounces (North Korea's) decision as unfriendly and unconstructive, disrespecting the spirit of mutual respect and good neighborly relations among members of the international community," its foreign ministry said in a statement. It said Malaysia would close its embassy in Pyongyang in response and order all diplomatic staff at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur to … [Read more...] about N.Korea to Sever Ties with Malaysia Over Extradition of Citizen to US
North Korea announced the abrupt end of diplomatic ties with Malaysia Friday in response to Kuala Lumpur’s “unpardonable crime” of extraditing a North Korean citizen to the United States for trial. The Malaysian government reacted initially with dismay, then pressured North Korea’s embassy officials to vacate the country as swiftly as possible. The North Korean in question, Mun Chol Myong, is the first citizen of the country extradited to the United States. According to the FBI, Mun, a businessman, routinely violated sanctions on the rogue communist regime by laundering money and shipments of goods to North Korea. American authorities accuse Mun of specializing in laundering “prohibited luxury goods” by shipping them illicitly from Singapore to North Korea. Malaysia has an extradition treaty with America, which it has decided to honor in Mun’s case but never has before with any North Korean citizen. The North Korean Foreign Ministry issued a belligerent missive Friday … [Read more...] about North Korea Cuts Ties with Malaysia for Extraditing Accused Money Launderer to U.S.
MANILA - Philippine troops killed an Abu Sayyaf rebel commander blamed for years of ransom kidnappings and on Sunday rescued the last of his four Indonesian captives, the military said. Marines wounded Amajan Sahidjuan in a gunbattle Saturday night and he later died from loss of blood on Kalupag Island in the southernmost province of Tawi Tawi. Two other militants managed to flee and dragged along the last of four Indonesian hostages, but troops finally rescued him on Sunday, regional military commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr. said. On Thursday night, three Indonesian men were rescued by police who also captured one of their Abu Sayyaf captors along the shores of South Ubian town in Tawi Tawi. The military said the Abu Sayyaf militants led by Sahidjuan were fleeing assaults in nearby Sulu province when their speedboat was lashed by huge waves and overturned off Tawi Tawi. A military officer said the militants were attempting to cross the sea border to Tambisan Island in … [Read more...] about Filipino Troops Kill Rebel Commander, Rescue Last Hostage
A North Korean man was taken into U.S. custody on Saturday after being extradited from Malaysia, The Associated Press reported , becoming the first North Korean to be extradited to the U.S. to face trial. Mun Chol Myong is accused of laundering funds through front companies, creating fraudulent documents to reinforce illegal shipments and supplying prohibited luxury goods from Singapore to North Korea in violation of U.N. sanctions, the AP reported. Mun has denied all allegations. ADVERTISEMENT A federal judge in Washington issued a warrant for Mun’s arrest in May 2019, the AP noted. Mun was arrested in Malaysia that month. The Malaysian government reportedly approved Mun’s extradition, but he challenged the proposal out of fear that he would not get a fair trial in the U.S. His lawyers argued that the extradition was “politically motivated” and was meant to increase pressure on North Korea because of its missile program, according to the AP. On March 9, … [Read more...] about North Korean taken into US custody in sanctions case