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Documents Allegedly Prove Malaysian Prime Minister Funneled $700 Million From State Fund

Najib Razak has denied taking any money from an indebted government fund, but he could face criminal charges for allegedly siphoning cash into his personal account.

by VICE News
Jul 5 2015, 2:55pm

Photo by Fazry Ismail/EPA

Investigators have furnished Malaysia's attorney general with documents that allegedly show that Prime Minister Najib Razak funneled nearly $700 million from an indebted government investment fund into his personal account.

The probe documents, which allege that Najib may have acted improperly in his capacity as founder and head of the board of advisers of the fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd. (1MDB), were first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. If the claims prove true, the Malaysian head of state could face criminal charges.

Late Saturday, Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail confirmed the receipt of the investigation documents, including bank transfer forms and flow charts, trailing the path of cash through government agencies, banks, and companies linked to 1MDB, before it allegedly wound up in Najib's personal account.

The news comes as the government fights off criticism and political pressure over 1MDB's $11 billion debt that it has been struggling to pay. Najib set up the fund in 2009 to develop new industries at home after a series of failed energy ventures abroad.

Related: Malaysia Pursuing Oil Tanker Hijacked by Pirates off the Coast of Vietnam

The Journal reported that five deposits were allegedly made into Najib's account since then. The two biggest transactions of $620 million and $61 million were allegedly made in March 2013 during an election campaign. The latter deposit was also linked to transactions made through Malaysia's Finance Ministry. Najib also serves as the country's finance minister.

Najib has denied wrongdoing and has blamed his opposition, including former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, for stirring up "malicious accusations" in what he said amounted to "political sabotage."

Since Mahathir left office in 2003 after 23 years in the position, he has been a leading voice calling for Najib's resignation.

Najib said Sunday that hewould meet with lawyers to decide the next step.

"The prime minister's political opponents, unwilling to accept his record or the facts, continue to try to undermine him with baseless smears and rumors for pure political gain," a Malaysian government spokesman told the Journal on Friday.

1MDB denied providing funds to Najib, saying it is "not aware of any such transactions, nor has it seen any documents to this effect."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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