Malaysia’s anti-graft agency on Wednesday said it will appeal against the attorney-general’s decision of giving a clean chit to Prime Minister Najib Razak of any criminal wrongdoing in a financial scandal involving nearly USD 700 million.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will seek a review of the decision with an independent government panel, it said in a statement but did not specify if it recommended charges against 62-year-old Najib.
Yesterday, Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali cleared Razak of any criminal wrongdoing in the nearly USD 700 million donation from Saudi Arabia’s royal family channelled into his private accounts, in a major relief for the beleaguered premier who has been under intense pressure to resign over the financial scandal.
The graft case has been the biggest political crisis in Razak’s seven-year premiership. The Attorney-General said in a press conference that the probe by the anti-corruption agency found no evidence to show that the USD 681 million donation was “an inducement or reward for doing or forbearing to do anything in relation to his capacity as Prime Minister”. Earlier, the MACC’s special operations director Bahri Mohd Zin said it is “most likely” that the Commission would consider appealing to the Attorney-General to reconsider his decision in the “straightforward case”.
Bahri was one of the MACC directors that was transferred to the Prime Minister’s Department on August 7, 2015. He was later reinstated to his original post three days later. Apandi had yesterday said that documents showed that USD 681 million were transferred to Najib’s personal accounts between March 22 and April 10, 2013 from the Saudi royal family.
He said Najib returned USD 620 million to the Saudi royal family in August 2013 as the money was not utilised. He, however, did not say what happened to the remaining USD 61 million. The Attorney-General did not say why the Saudi royal family donated the amount to the Prime Minister, after giving his reasons for closing the investigation.
“It is between the (Saudi royal) family and the Prime Minister,” he said.