MALAYSIA’S ousted Prime Minister Najib Razak could be charged soon over the foreign state fund scandal that had led to his party’s downfall in the recent elections, his successor said.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he was confident that prosecutors would be able to build a strong case against Najib over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
“We are slowly getting to the bottom of things and many of our senior officers are volunteering information accompanied, of course, by documents.
“We think that within a short while we will have a case against him, we will be able to charge him,”he said, as quoted by the New Straits Times.
Dr Mahathir said this via video conference to The Wall Street Journal CEO Council Meeting in Tokyo.
The nonagenarian prime minister said that the investigation could be riddled with problems such as “trying to trust people” to investigate Najib.
“Some of these people who were with him had sided with him and we do not know who is going to be loyal to this new government,”
Dr Mahathir added that there would be “no deal” if there was any offer on information leading to the recovery of the US$4.5bil allegedly lost by 1MDB, in exchange for Najib’s freedom.
On Saturday, Dr Mahathir said he personally ordered travel restrictions on Najib who was leaving for Jakarta “on a short trip” via a privately rented jet.
Meanwhile, Swiss federal prosecutors are seeking quick talks with Malaysian counterparts on how to press forward with an investigation of suspected corruption on 1MDB, the Swiss attorney general’s office said on Tuesday.
“After the latest developments in Malaysia the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) is very much interested in renewing dialogue with the competent authorities in Malaysia,” an OAG spokesman said by email, as quoted by Reuters.
In order to establish the most efficient form of cooperation and to ensure good coordination of the criminal investigations, the OAG favours an exchange between partnering authorities at their earliest convenience,”
Newly elected Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who was sworn in on Thursday, has vowed to investigate the 1MDB scandal and take action against those who may have abetted or benefited from corruption at the fund.
At least six countries, including the United States and Switzerland, are investigating allegations that $4.5 billion was siphoned off from 1MDB.