Najib Razak: Scandal-hit ex-Malaysia PM condemns police raids

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Media captionHandbags and money seized in raids on Malaysian former PM Najib Razak

Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak has criticised police raids after hundreds of luxury items and cash were seized at properties linked to him.

Mr Najib’s lawyer, Harpal Singh Grewal, said his client was “very unhappy”.

The raids were related to investigations into state development fund 1MDB, which Mr Najib set up.

Separately, Mongolia’s president has called for the new Malaysian government to investigate the grisly 2006 murder of a Mongolian model.

Shaariibuu Altantuya, 28, was shot dead and blown up with explosives outside the capital Kuala Lumpur. Two ex-police officers were sentenced to death for the murder in 2015.

If the case were re-opened it could spell more trouble for the recently toppled Mr Najib. The two officers belonged to an elite unit protecting top lawmakers, including the then deputy PM, when Ms Altantuya, was killed. She was the mistress of a close Najib associate.

Speculation about Mr Najib’s links to the murder have swirled in Malaysia for years but he has repeatedly said he never met the model and had nothing to do with it.

What is going on with 1MDB?

Billions of dollars are unaccounted for from the fund. Mr Najib was in 2015 alleged to have pocketed $700m (£517m) but was cleared by authorities.

He has always denied the allegations,

The corruption scandal was a major factor in Mr Najib’s shock election loss to his former ally Mahathir Mohammad last week.

Mr Mahathir has said that he believes the missing money can be recovered. He has banned Mr Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor from leaving the country.

Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission has ordered Mr Najib to make a statement relating to the corruption scandal on 22 May.

What did Mr Najib’s lawyer say?

Mr Grewal said that the former prime minister and his family were “very unhappy” that police had confiscated – among many other items – children’s clothes and shoes during the raids on properties across the capital Kuala Lumpur.

“No attempt was made to verify whether these dresses, shoes, babies clothes and all had anything to do with the investigations which are ongoing,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Najib Razak is now banned from leaving Malaysia

He also said the police had acted in a “cavalier and irresponsible manner”.

The police raids had been going on for several days, in the full view of the media, with police saying that the items removed included 284 boxes containing designer handbags and foreign currency.

At one point a locksmith was brought in to open a safe removed from Mr Najib’s home.

Mr Grewal earlier described that incident as “unwarranted harassment”.

Malaysian police have not publicly commented on the lawyer’s complaints.

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