Po­lice raid prop­er­ties of ousted leader of Malaysia

Irish Independent - - World - Nicola Smith Kuala Lumpur

MALAYSIAN po­lice have car­ried out raids on five prop­er­ties linked to Najib Razak, the for­mer prime min­is­ter who was ousted last week by an op­po­si­tion coali­tion who ac­cused his gov­ern­ment of cor­rup­tion.

The raids be­gan late on Wed­nes­day af­ter Mr Najib re­turned from evening prayers at the mosque, and in­cluded two of his fam­ily res­i­dences in Kuala Lumpur. In­ves­ti­ga­tors re­mained for about 12 hours, until well into yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Speak­ing out­side Mr Najib’s home at around 4am, his lawyer, Datuk Harpal Singh Gre­wal, said there was no in­di­ca­tion of any im­pend­ing ar­rests, re­ported the ‘Straits Times’.

“No doc­u­ments were taken, noth­ing of note, only per­sonal pos­ses­sions, in­clud­ing bags. We be­lieve that the po­lice will take out two to three boxes of items,” he said.

Mr Najib, who is barred from leav­ing the coun­try, is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the new gov­ern­ment of Ma­hathir Mo­hamad, his for­mer men­tor turned neme­sis, over a multi-bil­lion dol­lar cor­rup­tion scan­dal at the state-owned in­vest­ment fund

1Malaysia De­vel­op­ment Ber­had

(1MDB), which he founded. The fund is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the au­thor­i­ties of at least six coun­tries, in­clud­ing the US jus­tice depart­ment, which al­leges bil­lions were laun­dered through lay­ers of foreign bank ac­counts to fi­nance Hol­ly­wood films and lux­ury goods, in­clud­ing jewellery and a yacht.

Jeff Ses­sions, the US At­tor­ney Gen­eral, de­scribed the scan­dal as “klep­toc­racy at its worst” and some of the miss­ing money is al­leged to have ended up in Mr Najib’s per­sonal bank ac­count.

The for­mer prime min­is­ter has de­nied any wrong­do­ing and said the money was a do­na­tion from the Saudi royal fam­ily, which he had since re­turned.

Mr Mo­hamad (92), who came out of re­tire­ment to chal­lenge Mr Najib, said he was con­fi­dent pros­e­cu­tors would soon have a strong case to charge the for­mer leader.

He said: “We are slowly get­ting to the bot­tom of things and many of our se­nior of­fi­cers are vol­un­teer­ing in­for­ma­tion ac­com­pa­nied, of course, by doc­u­ments.

“We think that within a short while, we will have a case against him, we will be able to charge him.”

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