Malaysian ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak’s British media adviser and press relations consultant Paul Stadlen has been charged with two counts of money laundering amounting to S$4.98 million from June 2014 to August 2015.
Mishcon de Reya, Stadlen’s legal representatives, protested the “politically motivated” charges which they described are “in breach of natural justice.”
Stadlen, 39, was a former PR consultant in a private firm before being appointed to handle media operations for Najib’s communications office.
Stadlen was reported to have been connected to the Malaysian government since 2009 when Apco Worldwide won a contract to provide PR and communications roles for the government. The contract was, however, terminated and Stadlen was employed by FBC Media.
FBC Media also had its own share of controversy after it was exposed in 2011 to have contracted millions from the Prime Minister’s Office in order to assist in promoting Najib’s government propaganda projects to foreign Western media corporations.
Stadlen made headlines in 2015 in Malaysia after the Sarawak Report detailed his opulent and party-going lifestyle in the high-end clubs of Kuala Lumpur.
A notorious “playboy,” Stadlen surrounded himself with scantily clad women in bars often ending the night black-out drunk which was definitely strange behaviour for the Prime Minister’s principal media representative. Stadlen was also said to have owned a luxurious apartment in the Loft Sentral Condominium complex.
Everyone wondered who this Stadlen guy was for him to be paid an enormous salary. The rumors got so out of hand that the Prime Minister’s Department had to declare that Stadlen was “not a government employee” so his salary was not being funded by taxpayers.
In relation to the massive 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission hunted down Stadlen as he was considered a “key witness” in the scandal.
After staunchly defending Najib during the heat of the 1MDB scandal, Stadlen fled the country after Najib’s party—the United Malays National Organisation (UNMO)—lost the general election in May 2018 amidst scandals left and right.
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