July 4, 2018 / 7:47 AM / 10 months ago

Former Malaysian PM Najib says he is innocent, has chance to clear his name

Malaysia's former Prime Minister Najib Razak leaves a court in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia’s former prime minister, Najib Razak, on Wednesday said he was innocent and had a chance to clear his name, hours after being charged with offences including abuse of power.

Najib pleaded not guilty to the charges arising from an investigation into a scandal-plagued state fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which he founded almost a decade ago.

“I am confident of my innocence, I believe in my innocence and this is the best chance to clear my name,” Najib told reporters outside the courtroom after being released on bail.

“If this is the price I have to pay for 42 years I served the people and the country...I am willing,” he added.

The trial date has been set for Feb. 18 next year.

Reporting by Rozanna Latiff and Joseph Sipalan; Writing by John Geddie; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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