Najib leaves anti-graft agency after six hours of questioning over 'abuse of power'

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak arriving at the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 15, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR - Former Malaysian premier Najib Razak has left the headquarters of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) after six hours of questioning on Tuesday (Oct 16).

The questioning is believed to be in relation to a fresh case linked to troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). He arrived at 10am and left at 4.30pm.

A source told The Straits Times earlier that the Pahang Member of Parliament was being probed for alleged abuse of power.

"The team will quiz him on land (matters) and projects," the source had said on Tuesday morning. "It is linked to abuse of power," the source said, adding that the fresh case was related to some contract procurement matters.

This was the fifth time Najib has been summoned for questioning by the MACC.

Najib, 65, was last summoned to the MACC on Sept 19, when he was held overnight and brought to court the next day to face multiple charges.

After the Barisan Nasional coalition lost power in the May general election, he was charged with crimes linked to 1MDB, the state fund started by him in 2009. The fund is being probed in more than six countries for the alleged siphoning of about US$4.5 billion (S$6.2 billion) of its monies.

He faces 32 charges involving criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power.

These include charges related to the US$681 million that went into his personal bank account, and also another RM42 million (S$14 million) allegedly paid by SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1MDB, into his bank account. Najib has denied any wrongdoing.

He is the first former Malaysian premier to be arrested and charged in court for alleged corruption.

The charges mean Najib could face up to 15 years in jail and a fine of not less than five times the value of the proceeds of unlawful activities, or RM5 million, whichever is higher.

For the four counts of abuse of power, he could face a jail term not exceeding 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the value of the gratification in the offence, or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

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