Malaysia: Ex-PM Najib’s wife questioned over 1MDB funds

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The wife of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is set to give her statement on investigations into a former unit of state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Rosmah Mansour arrived on Tuesday at the headquarters of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in a convoy of four private cars.

She was ordered on Friday to report to the headquarters MACC, state media Bernama had reported.

Rosmah is expected to give her statement to anti-graft investigators in connection with a suspicious transfer of about $10.6m into Najib’s personal bank account that has been traced to the former 1MDB unit SRC International.

The sum is just a fraction of the billions of dollars allegedly syphoned from 1MDB, the state fund that Najib set up.

He has denied any wrongdoing and was cleared of any offence in an earlier Malaysian inquiry.

But the multibillion-dollar scandal at 1MDB dogged Najib and his family for three years of his near-decade-long rule, and was a key reason for suffering a stunning election loss in May by his mentor-turned-rival, Mahathir Mohamad.

Attention shifted to Rosmah after police found hundreds of luxury handbags, jewellery and cash during raids on apartments linked to the family.

Malaysian police have said cash of $28.6m and more than 400 handbags were seized. Experts were being brought in to value the jewellery, watches and other seized items.

In the past, Rosmah has been criticised for her lifestyle. On one occasion in 2015, she complained about having to pay $300 to her hairdresser.

Lawyers quit

Earlier on Tuesday, lawyers representing Najib and Rosmah on the SRC case said they had quit.

M Puravalen, a lawyer acting for Najib and Rosmah in connection with the SRC investigations, told Reuters on Tuesday he had “ceased acting” for Najib and Rosmah.

He said a second lawyer, Yusof Zainal Abideen, had also quit. The news site, The Malaysian Insight, reported that Puravalen, Abideen and other members of their legal team had walked out because they failed to reach common ground with Najib on several issues.

Najib and Rosmah have been barred from leaving the country and enforcement agencies have relaunched a probe into how the 1MDB funds went missing.

1MDB is also the subject of money-laundering probes in at least six countries, including the United States, Switzerland and Singapore.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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