KUALA LUMPUR / PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, REUTERS) - Malaysia’s attorney-general said on Wednesday that the documents disclosed in a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) story that said investigators had traced nearly US$700 million into the bank account of Prime Minister Najib Razak were already the subject matter of an investigation.
Abdul Gani Patail also said in a statement that a freeze order issued on six bank accounts by a special task force probing 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) on July 6 did not involve any bank accounts allegedly held by Najib.
“A further concern was that the documents were allegedly leaked from within the investigation itself,” he said, adding that he would not hesitate to prosecute any persons found to have leaked the documents. He noted that it was not a question of whistle blowing because the matter was already under investigation.
“This concern is also endorsed by the Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed."
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported last week that investigators probing 1MDB had traced money from the debt-laden fund to Najib’s personal account. Najib has denied taking any money from 1MDB or any other entity for personal gain, and is considering legal action.
1MDB on Wednesday said it had given documents and materials to aid the special task force probe after police raided the office in central Kuala Lumpur.
1MDB, a property-to-energy group whose advisory board is chaired by Najib, has debts of around US$11 billion. Even before the WSJ report, it was already the subject of separate investigations by the central bank, auditor general, police and the parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.