Ex-Malaysian PM Najib denies seeking witness protection over 1MDB probe

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak holding a press conference at Umno headquarters on May 12, 2018. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has denied that he is seeking witness protection over the probe into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

When queried by reporters at Kediaman Seri Kenangan in Pekan, Pahang on Sunday (May 20), the former prime minister said: "No, no. I'm not."

This was in response to a question by a reporter if it was true that he was seeking protection.

Online portal Malay Mail reported that Mr Najib asked for witness protection, claiming those linked directly or indirectly to 1MDB funds abroad had made threats to his life and his family members.

The portal, which claimed to have sighted the police report, stated that Mr Najib alleged there was a clear threat on his and his family members' life and made a formal request to be put under witness protection.

Mr Najib, who is Pekan MP, had reportedly claimed that the threats were not only from Malaysia, but also overseas, and linked to 1MDB.

However, a police source refuted Mr Najib's denial that he was seeking witness protection, telling Malay Mail that the former prime minister used the exact term "witness protection" in his police report.

Federal investigators have been searching properties linked to Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, including the couple's private mansion in Taman Duta and condominium units in Pavilion Residences, all in Kuala Lumpur.

The official residence of the Prime Minister in Seri Perdana, Putrajaya and the Prime Minister's Office in Putra Perdana are also being combed.

The confiscated items include several truckloads of boxes containing luxury Hermes, Chanel and Gucci handbags and suitcases with hard cash in various currencies.

Mr Najib has also been blacklisted from leaving the country by the Immigration Department.

Meanwhile, Mr Najib said that the Pekan folk wanted him to visit them because they wanted to show their appreciation and continuous support for him.

"They want me to continue to serve them as an MP. I'm glad to be back, with friends and supporters and people, who have been with me for the last 42 years," he said.

Najib has four scheduled events in Pekan on Sunday.

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