Corruption accused Najib's lawyer says Malaysian cops found nothing in raid

World | 17 May 2018 3:21 pm

A seven-hour police search of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak's property as part of a money-laundering investigation being pushed by his successor did not find any incriminating documents, his lawyer said today. 

Najib's lawyer Harpal Singh Grewal told The Associated Press that police seized several boxes of personal possessions including handbags and clothing. He said the search of Najib's house and an upscale condominium in Kuala Lumpur that is occupied by his family was carried out under the anti-money laundering act. 

New Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who pulled a stunning election victory last week that unseated Najib's National Front coalition after 60 years in power, reopened an inquiry into a state investment fund that is being investigated abroad. Najib started the fund in 2009 and U.S. investigators say at least US$4.5 billion was stolen and laundered by Najib's associates, some of which landed in his bank account. 

Najib has denied any wrongdoing but the raids fueled speculation his arrest may be imminent. He and his wife were barred from traveling overseas. 

"He was calm and of course upset, but the whole family cooperated,'' Grewal said of his client. 

Grewal said the search lasted nearly seven hours and he didn't know why there was still a large police presence outside Najib's house today. 

Police gave no indication that Najib, 64, will be arrested soon but Grewal added Najib will cooperate if he is summoned for questioning. 

Commercial crime director Amar Singh Ishar Singh told the media that police were searching for evidence at several locations. He declined to give details. Police officials did not comment. 

Mahathir, 92, said an initial investigation showed the scale of wrongdoing by Najib's administration was more serious than expected. 

He said he has met with ousted attorney general Abdul Gani Patail, who said he had been preparing to file criminal charges against Najib when he was abruptly removed in 2015. Gani led an investigation by multiple agencies into the scandal at the time, which was later closed after Najib was cleared of wrongdoing. 

Mahathir said the government will seek to retrieve billions of dollars laundered from the 1MDB state investment fund to repay government debts that have piled up over the years.-AP. Photo: New Straits Times

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