Malaysia

Najib suggests evidence withheld from 1MDB trial after ex-BNM governor linked to money trail


Datuk Seri Najib Razak is pictured leaving the Kuala Lumpur High Court  November 10, 2021. — Picture by Meira Zulyana
Datuk Seri Najib Razak is pictured leaving the Kuala Lumpur High Court November 10, 2021. — Picture by Meira Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 — Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak has lodged a police report seeking investigation into what he felt was an attempt to conceal material evidence in the cases implicating him in the multi-billion ringgit 1MDB financial scandal.

The former prime minister said in a statement that he was never informed or made aware about the RM700 million that had been transferred to bank accounts linked to a family member of former Bank Negara Malaysia governor.

Najib expressed shock over the revelation by former attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas two days ago that he was aware of such transactions during his time in office.

The de facto law minister, Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi, also informed Parliament last Monday that the authorities have allegedly known about the matter since at least 2019, under the previous Pakatan Harapan administration, but were still investigating.

“Such information was never made known to me and my legal team for use in my defense in court despite such information being material to my defense in both my SRC and 1MDB cases,” Najib’s statement read.

“I was also made aware that another key prosecution witness in my SRC case had similarly received more than RM85 million of funds directly linked to 1MDB and again me and my legal team were not told about this despite the individuals playing key roles in the SRC case,” the former premier added.

“Therefore, I am making a report to ask the police to investigate if there were deliberate attempts to conceal material evidence from me and all Malaysians by certain current and former key individuals in the AGC and MACC appointed during the Pakatan Harapan administration.”

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The police said in June that it would soon conclude the investigations into Datuk Tawfiq Ayman, the husband of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) ex-governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, over the alleged receipt of 1MDB funds.

News portal Malaysiakini quoted Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Kamaruddin Md Din as saying at the time that the police needed a few more documents to conclude their investigations.

Tawfiq is being investigated under Section (4)(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFPUAA) 2001.

The investigations were called when in February, business daily The Edge reported that Singaporean police had informed BNM of suspicious transactions involving a company owned by Zeti’s husband and son.

According to the report, the republic’s Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) shared this information with BNM in 2015 and 2016, when Zeti was still its governor.

Singapore recently returned to Malaysia about US$16.3 million (RM68.1 million) linked to a multibillion-dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB, Malaysia’s anti-graft agency said on November 19.

US authorities say about US$4.5 billion was siphoned from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) between 2009 and 2014, in a globe-spanning theft that has implicated high-ranking officials and financial institutions in multiple countries.

Malaysia has said billions more remain unaccounted for.



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