(Apr 3): The first of many trials for Malaysia’s former premier Najib Razak will serve as a key test of the nation’s readiness to get to the bottom of the 1MDB scandal.

Najib is set to appear in court on Wednesday to face seven of 42 corruption and money-laundering charges linked to his role in 1MDB, the state fund at the centre of a global heist that allegedly saw US$4.5 billion ($6.1 billion) embezzled. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Recouping the lost funds and bringing those responsible to justice were at the top of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s list of promises when he assumed office last May. Malaysian prosecutors have since slapped dozens of charges on former 1MDB officers, fugitive financier Low Taek Jho and units of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. But nearly a year later, only Najib is ready to proceed to trial.

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