Ousted Malaysian leader Najib Razak returns to anti-graft agency for questioning

Ousted Malaysian leader Najib Razak returns to anti-graft agency for questioning

Najib Razak MACC May 24 AFP
Malaysia's former prime minister Najib Razak arrives at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission office on May 24, 2018. (Photo: Mohd RASFAN/AFP)

KUALA LUMPUR: Ousted Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak returned on Thursday (May 24) to the headquarters of Malaysia's anti-graft agency for a second round of questioning in a multibillion-dollar corruption probe linked to state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Entering the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) at about 9.45am, the embattled 64-year-old smiled and waved as he walked through a throng of journalists.

Thursday's questioning lasted more than six hours, with Najib saying it finished at 4.30pm. He was given a 45-minute break and was allowed to perform his prayers.

"I have answered all the questions to the best of my ability," he told reporters as he left the building, adding that officials had "carried out their job well, in a very professional manner".

"They said my questioning session is over," he said.

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The former leader began making his statement on Tuesday to explain the transfer of RM42 million (US$10.6 million) into his bank account that investigators tracked to a former unit of 1MDB.

In a press conference on Tuesday, newly appointed MACC head Mohd Shukri Abdull said Mr Najib was brought in for questioning on SRC International, and not so that the agency could arrest him.

SRC was created in 2011 by Mr Najib's government to pursue overseas investments in energy resources, and was a unit of 1MDB until it was moved to the finance ministry in 2012.

Also at the anti-corruption agency's headquarters in Putrajaya on Thursday was former PetroSaudi International director Xavier Andre Justo.

In September 2009, 1MDB entered into a US$2.5 billion joint venture with the private oil company. In August 2015, Thailand handed the Swiss national a three-year jail sentence for stealing information from his previous employer. Justo received a royal pardon in August 2016.

After holding meetings with key figures from 1MDB on Wednesday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the fund was insolvent, could not pay its debts, and its chief was "utterly dishonest".

1MDB president and chief executive Arul Kanda on Thursday said he was considering legal action against Mr Lim over his statement that had put him in a "bad light".

Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor have suffered a swift fall from grace. Police have raided properties linked to them and seized a huge stash of handbags, cash and jewels.

On Wednesday, police sources said the total amount of cash seized from a deluxe apartment block linked to Najib totalled more than RM110 million

The ousted leader has sought to mount a fightback in recent days, insisting he has not stolen public funds and attacking the new government.

In a Facebook post late Wednesday, he accused the new prime minister and finance minister of causing the stock market to fall by saying that the country's national debt was huge.

"Words spoken while in such positions of power result in actual losses to the country and the people," he said.

Source: Agencies/zl(cy)

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