Donation to Najib is genuine: Saudi minister

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir, arriving for a press conference with his South African counterpart on March 27, 2016, in Riyadh.
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir, arriving for a press conference with his South African counterpart on March 27, 2016, in Riyadh.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR • Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said a US$681 million (S$928 million) deposit in Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's bank account was a "genuine donation" from Saudi Arabia, Malaysian media reported.

Datuk Seri Najib has been facing allegations of graft after reports claimed that the funds found in his personal bank account originated from debt-ridden state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). He has maintained that the funds were a donation and did not originate from 1MDB.

"We are aware of the donation and it is a genuine donation with nothing expected in return," Mr Al-Jubeir was quoted telling reporters by state news agency Bernama at a summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul.

"We are also fully aware that the Attorney-General of Malaysia has thoroughly investigated the matter and found no wrongdoing. So, as far as we are concerned, the matter is closed." Mr Al-Jubeir met Mr Najib on the summit sidelines.

1MDB is under investigation in at least five countries, including Singapore, for alleged graft and mismanagement.

In January, Malaysia's attorney-general cleared Mr Najib of any wrongdoing or corruption in relation to the funds.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 16, 2016, with the headline 'Donation to Najib is genuine: Saudi minister'. Print Edition | Subscribe