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Malaysia says about US$700 million in Najib accounts are donations
[KUALA LUMPUR] The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said its investigations found that RM2.6 billion (US$675 million) in Prime Minister Najib Razak's personal accounts are donations and not from a debt-ridden state investment company.
The agency has completed its probe of the premier's accounts and sent the results to the Attorney-General, it said in an e-mailed statement on Monday. The probe was done in a free, transparent and professional manner, it said, without indicating where the donations came from or why millions of dollars in such funds would be deposited in Mr Najib's personal bank accounts.
The Wall Street Journal reported on July 3 that US$700 million may have moved through government agencies and state- linked firms to accounts bearing Mr Najib's name. The premier has denied taking money for personal gain and has described the furor as part of a campaign to remove him from office.
Facing his biggest crisis in six years in power, Mr Najib last week removed his deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who had called for answers on the 1Malaysia Development Bhd imbroglio including its investment decisions. The government said it also was replacing attorney general Abdul Gani Patail for health reasons, with former Federal Court judge Mohamed Apandi Ali taking the role.
The attorney general's office is on the task force investigating the money trail claims against Mr Najib. 1MDB is the subject of overlapping probes by agencies including the central bank and the police.
Controversy over 1MDB's finances has dogged Mr Najib for months, though an initial audit report didn't reveal any suspicious activity. Mr Najib chairs the advisory board of 1MDB and has resisted calls from ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad to step down over the fund's performance as it amassed about RM42 billion of debt in less than five years.
The task force investigating 1MDB comprises the central bank, police, the anti-corruption commission and attorney general's office. 1MDB has said reports that it funneled funds to Mr Najib's accounts are untrue.