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Malaysia’s ex-leader Najib begins defense in graft trial

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has started his defense in his first corruption trial linked to the multibillion-dollar looting of the 1MDB state investment fund that contributed to his election loss last year.

Najib is defending himself against seven charges of abuse of power, breach of trust and money laundering relating to 42 million ringgit ($10.1 million) that allegedly went into his bank accounts from SRC International, a former unit of the 1MDB fund.

The high court judge last month said Najib wielded “overarching authority and power” and took actions for personal gains.

Najib on the stand Tuesday outlined 1MDB’s formation and the role of fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, who U.S. investigators say was the mastermind behind the massive scandal that is being probed in several countries.

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