Malaysian anti-graft body to appeal PM's clearance

Plans to apply for review of Attorney General’s move to close probe into alleged $681 million Saudi political ‘donation’ sent to Najib Razak

Malaysian anti-graft body to appeal PM's clearance

World Bulletin / News Desk

Malaysia’s anti-graft commission plans to appeal a decision to clear Prime Minister Najib Razak of criminal charges over an alleged $681 million political donation into his personal bank accounts.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) announced Wednesday that it will apply for a review of Attorney General Apandi Ali's move to close the probe after concluding that the funds had been transferred to Razak's accounts by the Saudi royal family before the 2013 general election.

"The highest management of MACC have decided to present the Attorney-General's decision to the operations review panel," its statement said.

An appeal would refer the clearance to the independent review panel set up by the government, which would check the credibility of the MACC’s procedures.

The panel also provides input concerning cases that are not taken to court by public prosecutors, but later resubmitted to the Attorney General Chambers.

On Tuesday, Ali ruled out any wrongdoings by Razak in receiving or spending the alleged donation during the May 2013 general election due to “insufficient evidence” to implicate the premier.

“Based on facts and evidence, no criminal offences have been committed by the PM in relation to three investigation papers. I hereby order the MACC to close the investigation papers,” he had told a packed press conference at his office.

The MACC had earlier opened three investigations into Razak over the funds, and two on the finance ministry's SRC International Sdn Bhd after international media released reports in July quoting documents from a probe into state investment vehicle 1MDB -- Razak's brainchild, of which SRC is a subsidiary -- that claimed that $700 million (or 2.67 billion Ringgit) from 1MDB ended up in Razak's accounts.

The premier had originally responded to the allegations by insisting that he had not swindled funds for personal gain, whether it be from 1MDB, SRC International or other entities.

In August, the Attorney General Chambers revealed that the funds were not from 1MBD, but political donations to the Razak-led United Malays National Organization (UMNO) for the party to remain in power during the 13th General Election.

While politicians within UMNO had proudly declared that the funds came from "Middle East Royals" who wanted the party to retain power, Razak remained silent on the matter, insisting that political donations are confidential and donors would only be revealed if opposition parties agreed to follow suit.

Last Mod: 27 Ocak 2016, 12:09
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