Malaysian PM Najib Razak is not a suspect in the latest criminal investigations into the misappropriation of funds involving 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), according to the Swiss Office of the Attorney-General (OAG).
This statement comes just a few days after the surprising announcement that the amount of funds misappropriated from state-owned companies in Malaysia could be as much as RM16.8billion (USD4 billion).
Nikkei Asian Review has reported that Andre Marty, spokesman for the OAG in Switzerland, stated:
“In the ongoing criminal proceeding of the OAG, Mr Najib Razak is not one of the public officials under accusation.”
Marty explained that, in cases where an offence has (likely) been committed but the guilty part is yet to be identified, the perpetrator is referred to as ‘persons unknown‘ .
The Swiss OAG had previously stated that “criminal proceedings opened on August 14, 2015 against two former officials of the Malaysian state-owned fund 1MDB and persons unknown’. The office also issued a request for Malaysia’s help in the investigation on stolen funds from 1MDB (for the full quote, see below).
This initially caused the speculation and finger-pointing to begin, with PM Najib Razak the suspect, mainly because this request came just days after Mohd Apandi Ali the Malaysian Attorney-General, completely cleared the PM of all wrongdoing in the investigation of a RM2.6 billion donation and RM42 million from SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1MDB. However, Marty has categorically denied this.
UK publication the Financial Times has reported that the Swiss AG alleged “criminal conduct” in four cases involving 1MDB, in a four-year period between 2009 and 2013 – but none of these apparently include Najib as a suspect.
Known to be involved are PetroSaudi, SRC International, power generation and property investors Genting / Tanjong, and retail operator ADMIC. The latter is a joint venture between 1MDB and Aabar, an investment company owner by Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company.
However 1MDB have issued a statement they have yet to be contacted by Singaporean authorities regarding the case.
As part of the criminal proceedings opened on 14 August 2015 against two former officials of the Malaysian state-owned fund 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad) and persons unknown on suspicion of bribery of foreign public officials (Art. 322septies Swiss Criminal Code (SCC)), misconduct in public office (Art. 314 SCC), money laundering (Art. 305bis SCC) and criminal mismanagement (Art. 158 SCC), the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has requested the Malaysian authorities for mutual assistance.
– Swiss Attorney-General’s Office, news.admin.ch