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Toppled Malaysian leader Najib’s 1MDB trial delayed

Kuala Lumpur
Former Malaysian premier Najib Razak’s trial over a massive financial scandal that contributed to his government’s downfall was postponed Monday, in a blow to slow-moving efforts to bring the disgraced politician to justice.
Najib had been due to go on trial Tuesday for the first time over allegations linked to his involvement in the looting of Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB in a fraud that reverberated around the world.
Billions of dollars were allegedly stolen by Najib and his cronies from 1MDB, which was set up to help develop Malaysia’s economy, and spent on everything from high-end real estate to expensive artworks.
Najib, who allegedly received huge sums from the fund into his personal bank accounts, has denied any wrongdoing.
But the ex-leader’s lawyers filed an application for the trial to be delayed pending an appeal on a technical matter.
The Court of Appeal on Monday agreed to the postponement for an unspecified period, V Sithambaram, a criminal lawyer on the prosecution team, said.
“It won’t be delayed too long,” he said, adding he hoped the appeal would only take a week or two.