Investigation clears Malaysian PM Najib Razak of corruption

Investigators clear Malaysian PM of graft as probe reveals 681 million dollars transferred to his bank account was 'personal donation' from Saudi royal family

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks during a conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, January 25, 2016

Malaysian authorities announced on Tuesday that the investigation cleared Prime Minister Najib Razak of corruption charges and any other criminal wrongdoing as anti-corruption commission found that $681 million transferred to his private bank account was a gift from the Saudi royal family.

During a press conference, Malaysia’s Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali said "I am satisfied that there is no evidence to show that the donation was a form of gratification given corruptly."

Najib Razak was accused of corruption and criminal offences and has faced intense pressure to resign as critics claimed the money he received to his personal bank accounts came from the state owned investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) which was set up by Najib in 2009.

The scandal has shaken investors in Southeast Asia's third-biggest economy and rocked public confidence in the coalition led by Najib's United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party, which has held power since Malaysia's independence in 1957.

According to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) whose officials met and recorded statements from witnesses including the Saudi donor during the investigations, the funds were transferred in early 2013 and Najib returned $620 million to the Saudi royal family in August 2013, 

Apandi said no evidence showed that the money was given as an inducement or reward to Najib in return for a favour, but added that the reason behind the donation is unknown.

"There was no reason given as to why the donation was made to PM Najib, that is between him and the Saudi family," Apandi said.


TRTWorld and agencies