Salleh: Najib was tried in court of public opinion

PHOTO: Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has been subjected to the gross injustice of trial through the media, says Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

The Communications and Multi­media Minister said Najib was convicted in a court of public opinion, based not on evidence but on mere allegations.

"Those who have slandered the Prime Minister owe him a huge apology.

"Which, of course, we know will never happen," he said in his latest blog posting yesterday.

According to Dr Salleh, since the so-called revelation by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on July 2, 2015, the Prime Minister has been subjected to a barrage of attacks by the local and foreign media, as well as bloggers.

"And he was being treated as guilty until and unless he could prove his innocence which was precisely what (former prime minister) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said."

The WSJ published a report claiming Najib had taken US$700mil (S$945 million) of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) money and transferred it to his personal bank accounts which triggered the setting up of a special task force to investigate the allegation.

However, Dr Salleh said according to the WSJ, the investigation had started before July 2 and was not the result of its expose.

"The WSJ confirmed it was in possession of documents related to that probe.

"This in itself sounds very suspicious because the WSJ said its report was based on the investigation while the official statement from the task force is that it was set up after the report was published.

"So which came first? And if the WSJ report came first, this would mean the documents were not based on any investigation but planted to slander the Prime Minister."

Dr Salleh pointed out that on July 4, the Attorney-General had said he had just received the documents and only on July 8, the task force was set up. So where did the WSJ obtain its evidence from?"

Dr Salleh added that contrary to its earlier report, the WSJ now said the money was not from 1MDB after all but a donation from Middle Eastern sources.