July 4, 2018 / 7:40 AM / a year ago

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

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 (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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