Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Malaysian police searches 2 of ex-PM Najib Razak's residences

Malaysian police searches 2 of ex-PM Najib Razak's residences

The police search of former prime minister Najib Razak's home went on for about 18 hours and amounted to "harassment", said his lawyer in a statement on Thursday (May 17).

In scenes scarcely imaginable before the May 9 general election, which Najib Razak stunningly lost, armed police entered his home late on Wednesday as part of a renewed probe into a multibillion-dollar corruption scandal.

"We are in the midst of collecting information, we will have more details once we have completed our search", he said, confirming that the searches were related to investigations into the 1MDB scandal that had dogged Mr Najib since 2015. Najib started the fund in 2009 and USA investigators say at least US$4.5 billion ($6.5b) was stolen and laundered by Najib's associates, some of which landed in his bank account.

Last week, Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, were stopped from leaving the country when he chose to fly to Indonesia for "a short break" after losing the election.

However, he has denied any wrongdoing.

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"Nothing meaningful has come from the search and seizure of what would appear to be insignificant personal items", including handbags and clothing, Gerwal insisted.

Witnesses said that bags and boxes of personal items were seized by the authorities.

"At the same time, I hope that such actions also take into account that until today, Dato" Sri Najib, a former prime minister, has served the country immensely since becoming a "wakil rakyat' since he was 22, has not been charged in court and thus, should be accorded the appropriate treatment in line with the principle "innocent until proven guilty" which I am sure is also shared by Pakatan Harapan, who have been championing democracy all this while".

"We believe (the search) was done under the Anti-Money Laundering Act", he said, adding that Najib and his family were cooperative during the search and that no arrests were made.

He said Najib and his family members extended their cooperation during the search, and that there were no arrests. There was no immediate word on what was in the boxes.

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