Former Malaysian prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin has been charged with corruption and money laundering related to COVID-19 relief projects under his administration. He led the country for 17 months until August 2021.
The charges come a day after his arrest on Thursday. The former prime minister and opposition leader now faces a total of six charges. They include abuse of power in receiving bribes of over 51 million dollars in a bank account belonging to his party.
Muhyiddin has been released on bail. He pleaded not guilty to all six charges on Friday, calling the accusations "organized political persecution."
He and his party have come under scrutiny since losing a tight election to Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim last November. Anwar has been stepping up efforts to pursue past government misconduct.
The allegations against Muhyiddin come ahead of regional elections later this year. The scandal could hurt the opposition camp.