Malaysian anti-graft body likely to appeal against A-G's decision to clear PM Najib of corruption

Malaysia's PM Najib Razak speaking at the opening of the International Conference on Deradicalisation and Countering Violent Extremism on Jan 25, 2016.
Malaysia's PM Najib Razak speaking at the opening of the International Conference on Deradicalisation and Countering Violent Extremism on Jan 25, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will likely appeal against the Attorney-General's decision absolving Prime Minister Najib Razak of criminal offences over a donation from the Saudi royal family and a government loan linked to SRC International.

MACC special operations director Bahri Mohd Zin said late Tuesday (Jan 26) that it was "most likely" that the commission would consider appealing to the Attorney-General to reconsider his decision in the "straightforward case".

Datuk Bahri was one of the MACC directors who were transferred to the Prime Minister's Department on Aug 7 last year. He was later reinstated to his original post three days later.

Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali on Tuesday absolved Datuk Sri Najib of any criminal wrongdoing in relation to the two investigations.

He said he had found no evidence to show that the donation was "an inducement or reward for doing or forbearing to do anything in relation to his capacity as Prime Minister".

 
 
 

The Attorney-General said documents showed that US$681 million (S$973 million) was transferred to Mr Najib's personal accounts between March 22 and April 10, 2013 from the Saudi royal family, and the PM returned US$620 million in August the same year as the funds had not been put to use.

He did not say why the donation was given in the first place and what the Prime Minister did with the remaining US$61 million.

The Wall Street Journal reported last year that the money had come from firms linked to state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Tan Sri Apandi also said there was no evidence that Mr Najib had abused his position during a Cabinet meeting that approved a government guarantee on the loan from Retirement Fund Inc, a pension fund.

Mr Najib, also finance minister and chief adviser to 1MDB, has repeatedly denied using public funds for personal gain. He has told supporters that as Umno president, he is tasked with raising funds for the ruling party.