PV International Desk : Malaysia’s disgraced former leader Najib Razak will go on trial Wednesday over a multi-billion-dollar financial scandal that contributed to his long-ruling coalition’s downfall last year and sent shockwaves around the world.

The 65-year-old will face the first of several trials over his alleged involvement in the looting of sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, a state investment vehicle established to develop the economy of the Southeast Asian nation.

The former premier and his cronies are accused of plundering billions of dollars from the fund and spending it on everything from high-end real estate to artworks in a fraud that stretched around the world.

He had been tipped to win another term in office easily last year and extend his coalition’s six-decade stranglehold on power, only to be soundly defeated by his former boss, Mahathir Mohamad, who rode a wave of public anger to the premiership.

In the months that followed, once-dormant investigations into 1MDB were relaunched and Najib was hit with dozens of corruption charges linked to the scandal.