Mahathir: People pushing for Najib arrest, but it's not so easy

Mahathir: People pushing for Najib arrest, but it's not so easy
PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO - Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said while many people were asking for the arrest of the former premier, it was not so easy.

"People are waiting - when are we going to arrest (Datuk Seri) Najib Tun Razak?

"It's not so easy. We have to find evidence that will stand up in court.

"If the evidence is not strong and he is not found guilty by the court, then all the things we have done and said will be questioned by the people," he said in his speech during the dinner with some 250 Malaysians in Japan here on Sunday (June 10) night.

He said with the right evidence, "hopefully", Najib would be found guilty by the court.

"I say hopefully because the people's choice must be respected and we want to be a democratic country," he said, adding that the new Pakatan Harapan government would not run roughshod over the other branches of the government such as the judiciary.

"That's a relief for Najib," Dr Mahathir said, adding that Najib was however not allowed to leave the country.

He said however that many people had 'disappeared' lately, including Jamal Yunos.

"But we hope that before they disappear, we can punish them accordingly to the law," he said.

He also said because Najib was using stolen money to pay 'everyone', this was not sustainable, adding that some people would suffer because of the restructuring and rehabilitation of the country's RM1tril debt was not easy.

"Some people will not be able to perform their haj because the Government won't be paying for them to perform their haj with stolen money."

Malaysian police search places linked to ousted PM Najib

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    The cash and items seized from the six residences linked to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak amounted to between RM900 million (S$304 million) and RM1.1 billion, say the police.

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    He said that more than 12,000 pieces of jewellery - comprising 2,200 rings, 1,400 necklaces, 2,100 bracelets, 2,800 pairs of earrings,1,600 brooches and 14 tiaras were seized.

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    He added that this was the biggest seizure in Malaysian history.

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    Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor arrived at the headquarters of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to have her statement recorded in connection with a suspicious transfer of about $10.6 million (S$14.2 million) from the former 1MDB unit SRC International.

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    The sum is just a fraction of the billions of dollars allegedly siphoned from 1MDB, the state fund that Najib set up, in a scandal that dogged the last three years of his near-decade-long rule and was a key reason why he was voted out in a May 9 election.

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    M. Puravalen, a lawyer acting for Najib and Rosmah in connection with the SRC investigations, told Reuters on Tuesday he had "ceased acting" for Najib and Rosmah.

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    He said a second lawyer, Yusof Zainal Abideen, had also quit.

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    Puravalen, Abideen and other members of their legal team were reported to have walked out because they failed to reach common ground with Najib on several issues.

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    Najib has already made a series of statements to anti-graft investigators

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    but attention has shifted to his wife after police discovered hundreds of luxury handbags and a stash of jewelry and cash during raids on apartments linked to Najib and his family.

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    Malaysian police have seized 284 boxes filled with designer handbags, watches, jewellery and cash in various currencies from three luxury condominiums.

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    Comm Amar said the designer handbags were of various brands including Louis Vuitton and Birkin bags from Hermes.

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    He added that it was impossible for police to estimate the value of the items seized because there were just too many items and cash seized.

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    He also said that the apartment was not owned by Najib but a "Tan Sri".

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    Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Seri Amar Singh, who led the raids at Pavilion Residences here said this was part of its investigations into 1MDB.

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    This follows a police check of six locations linked to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak here and in Putrajaya, including the Prime Minister's Office, his official residence as well as four other residences.

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    When asked whether Najib would be arrested, he said: "There is no indication that they (the police) will do it."

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    He said Najib and his family were cooperative with police. "They (the police) also acted professionally," he said.

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