Former Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was charged with abuse of power and money laundry at a Kuala Lumpur court on Friday.
Muhyiddin pleaded not guilty and has previously said the charges were politically motivated.
Muhyiddin, who served as the prime minister for 17 months between March 2020 and August 2021, is the chairman of the Perikatan Nasional political coalition.
He was questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on Thursday morning following allegations that his party misused public funds meant to fight COVID-19.
Muhyiddin denied the accusations of wrongdoing and described them as a political vendetta. He was briefly arrested on Thursday afternoon before being released on bail.
"I stress that I am not guilty, and I will face all charges against me in court ... This action is political persecution because they fear the strength of Perikatan Nasional," Muhyiddin told reporters, referring to his opposition alliance.
Muhyuddin is the second Malaysian leader to be charged with a crime after losing power. In 2018, Najib Razak faced multiple graft allegations over a multibillion dollar corruption scandal at state fund 1MDB and has since been jailed.