Najib called in for questioning at MACC HQ

Najib called in for questioning at MACC HQ
PHOTO: AFP

PETALING JAYA - Today, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak returns to Putrajaya after the May 9 elections. It will not be a triumphant return, and he will not be heading to what was once the Prime Minister's office at the Perdana Putra Building.

Instead, he will be escorted to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commis-sion headquarters at 10am, an hour before newly-minted MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull gives his maiden press conference as top graft-buster in the same building.

The anti-graft agency served Najib notice on Friday to seek the former prime minister's co-operation over investigations into SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary of the controversial 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

It is not known how many investigating officers will be involved or how long it will take but previous cases of questioning and investigations have gone up to 10 hours or more.

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Several high-profile individuals, who were questioned by the MACC in the past, were subsequently arrested and remanded.

In Aug 15 last year, for instance, former Felda chairman Tan Sri Isa Abdul Samad was put under arrest after being questioned for two hours over the controversial hotel purchases by Felda Investment Corporation.

He was then remanded for five days.

Penang exco man Phee Boon Poh was arrested on Aug 11, last year, after less than two hours of questioning over an illegal carbon filter processing factory in Bukit Mertajam.

Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal was arrested last Oct 19 after about four hours of questioning over projects implemented during his term as Rural and Regional Development Minister between 2009 and 2015.

He was remanded for four days.

Former Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem was also questioned for nearly 10 hours on Sept 29, last year, to facilitate investigations into the missing funds allocated to the Skills Development Fund Corporation under the ministry.

Like most people questioned by the MACC, Najib is expected to be taken to the video interviewing room (VIR).

Moral support: Tanjung Malim Umno members led by Slim assemblyman Datuk Khusairi Abdul Talib walking to Najib's house in Taman Duta in Kuala Lumpur for a visit. Several other groups also arrived to see Najib but could not get in.Photo: The Star/Asia News Network

Three copies of the footage will be made, which will be kept by the witness, the investigating officer and the other to be submitted as evidence in court. This is to prevent any editing or manipulation of the videos.

It is learnt that only investigating officers will be involved in the questioning and no top MACC officer would be involved.

At 11am, Mohd Shukri will hold a press conference where he has promised a "great story".

While he may be keen on talking about his life since his "retirement" in 2016, the media is expected to bombard Mohd Shukri with questions about 1MDB, Najib and whether he would be spending the night there.

Mohd Shukri served the MACC for 32 years before retiring at age 56 as the deputy chief commissioner (operation) at about the same time that former MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed "requested to have his contract terminated two years early".

In July 2015, he had said that there was basis for MACC to probe SRC International after looking at the issues surrounding investments by the energy company.

Mohd Shukri said based on media reports, the MACC found that there were elements raised within the jurisdiction of the commission.

He made the comments following reports in the Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report that US$700mil (RM2.6bil) was allegedly channelled into the prime minister's personal accounts.

SRC International is an energy company owned by the Finance Ministry. It was a subsidiary of 1MDB until it was "de-merged" in February 2012.

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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