Stepson of Malaysia's ex-PM quizzed over graft

Aaron Brown
July 4, 2018

Najib and his wife, who have been questioned over the SRC issue by the anti-graft agency, have been barred from leaving the country.

Najib set up 1MDB when he took power in 2009 but the fund amassed billions in debts and is being investigated in the USA and several other countries.

Al Jazeera's Florence Looi, reporting from the capital, Kuala Lumpur, said: "The sum of about $10m is a small amount compared to the $4bn that Najib and his associate are alleged to have embezzled from 1MBD".

"I am confident of my innocence, I believe in my innocence and this is the best chance to clear my name", Najib told reporters outside the courtroom after being released on bail.

"It signals a new era where no one in public office will be immune from punitive action if they abuse power", he added.

It said Malaysia's new attorney general, Tommy Thomas, will head the prosecution in the case.

This represents a small fraction of the billions of dollars the U.S. Department of Justice has said was misappropriated from 1MDB.

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Najib and his cronies were accused of plundering billions of dollars from the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund to buy everything from United States real estate to artworks. Police have also seized jewelry and valuables valued at more than 1.1 billion ringgit ($272 million) from properties linked to Najib.

The arrest, made in connection with the investigation of a massive corruption scandal, was carried out last week by anti-corruption task force officials.

Mahathir Mohamad, who helped Najib's political ascent before turning on him as the allegations surfaced, led a campaign that unseated Najib in a May 9 election and ousted a coalition that had ruled since Malaysia's independence from Britain in 1957.

Then the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported it had seen a paper trail that allegedly traced close to $700m from the fund to Mr Najib's personal bank accounts. While in power, Najib said the $700 million was a donation from the Saudi royal family.

- Red Granite, the company behind the 2013 film, "The Wolf of Wall Street", agrees to pay the U.S. government US$60 million to settle a civil lawsuit that sought to seize assets allegedly bought with money stolen from 1MDB.

He took the money, the charges allege, when he "participated in or involved yourself in decisions on behalf of the Malaysian government to give government guarantees for loans amounting to four billion ringgit ($1.34 billion)". Red Granite was unavailable for comment.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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