Najib's wife questioned by anti-graft agency for five hours

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor leaving the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Putrajaya yesterday afternoon after giving a statement. She had arrived at the agency at 10.45am, accompanied by her lawyers K. Kumaraendran and Geethan
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor leaving the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Putrajaya yesterday afternoon after giving a statement. She had arrived at the agency at 10.45am, accompanied by her lawyers K. Kumaraendran and Geethan Ram Vincent.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor leaving the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Putrajaya yesterday afternoon after giving a statement. She had arrived at the agency at 10.45am, accompanied by her lawyers K. Kumaraendran and Geethan
Madam Rosmah's daughter Nooryana Najwa, who had gone to the MACC headquarters yesterday morning to support her mother, and her husband Daniyar Kessibayev leaving the building at about 11.30am. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Lawyer says Rosmah has completed recording statement in investigation over 1MDB subsidiary SRC International

Former prime minister Najib Razak's wife Rosmah Mansor left Malaysia's anti-graft agency headquarters after being quizzed for five hours yesterday in a probe into the misappropriation of funds at SRC International, a former subsidiary of state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The 66-year-old left at 3.45pm after her statement was recorded by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Datin Seri Rosmah had arrived at the agency at 10.45am wearing a blue floral baju kurung with a red headscarf and carrying a matching red Versace handbag.

She was accompanied by her lawyers K. Kumaraendran and Geethan Ram Vincent, and daughter Nooryana Najwa, who left in a separate vehicle at about 11.30am.

Madam Rosmah, who left without taking questions from reporters, was driven away in a silver Mercedes-Benz S-class.

Datuk Kumaraendran, who spoke to reporters, said the MACC officers had completed recording her statement. "Datin Seri Rosmah gave her utmost cooperation during the process and was treated well by the investigating officers," he said.

"Our client will extend further cooperation as and when sought by the agency."

Madam Rosmah's attendance at the MACC comes two weeks after her husband was called up to have his statement recorded. Datuk Seri Najib has been questioned by the MACC three times over the SRC case - once in 2015, and twice last month.

SRC was an energy company that was a subsidiary of scandal-hit state fund 1MDB. According to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal, RM42 million (S$14 million) originating from SRC was transferred to Mr Najib's personal bank accounts between 2014 and 2015.

Mr Najib was also reported to have charged US$130,625 (S$174,400) on a credit card issued to him by SRC International for purchases at French fashion house Chanel during a trip to Hawaii in 2014, which saw him and former US president Barack Obama playing a round of golf.

Mr Najib has also been linked to the scandal at 1MDB after RM2.6 billion was found in his personal accounts. He has denied all allegations and was cleared by the Malaysian authorities in 2016 of any wrongdoing.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed several civil suits alleging that more than US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB by its high-level officials and their associates between 2009 and 2015.

In a filing last June, the DOJ claimed that nearly US$30 million was used to buy jewellery for Madam Rosmah, including a rare 22-carat pink diamond set in a necklace. The diamond necklace was bought in 2013, months after the RM2.6 billion was transferred to Mr Najib's accounts in Kuala Lumpur. Mr Najib has said the funds in his accounts were a donation from the Saudi royal family.

Madam Rosmah had in 2015 denied any links to funds from 1MDB, and has said she has not committed any criminal offence or misappropriation of funds.

The renewed probe into 1MDB comes after Mr Najib's Barisan Nasional coalition suffered a shock election defeat on May 9.

New Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has vowed to recover billions of dollars allegedly stolen from the state fund, and to investigate whether Mr Najib had abused his power as prime minister and finance minister.

The former premier and his wife are also currently barred from leaving the country.

Since May 18, police have searched 12 premises linked to Mr Najib in its probe into the 1MDB scandal. Investigators have seized 284 boxes filled with designer handbags, watches, jewellery and RM114 million of cash in various currencies from three apartments at Pavilion Residences in Kuala Lumpur linked to him and his family.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2018, with the headline 'Najib's wife questioned by anti-graft agency for five hours'. Print Edition | Subscribe