Dr M: More info coming on 1MDB

TOKYO: Information on alleged misdeeds in 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) is pouring in, with many senior officers offering information to help the Government in its probe into graft claims against former leader Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, speaking via video conference with The Wall Street Journal CEO Council Meeting here, said: “We are slowly getting to the bottom of things and many of our senior officers are volunteering information accompanied, of course, by documents.

“In the most recent episode, a member of the panel that reviewed the case files claimed that the MACC found evidence in late 2015 that RM42mil was transferred from a former subsidiary of 1MDB into Najib’s account.

“We think that within a short while we will have a case against him, we will be able to charge him,” said the new Prime Minister.

Dr Mahathir added that he was facing the problem of “trying to trust people to investigate him”.

“Some of these people had been by his side and we do not know who is going to be loyal to this new government,” he said.

Asked if he might be willing to cut a deal to spare Najib, if he were to offer information that could recover part of the US$4.5bil (RM18.19bil) allegedly lost by the debt-laden state fund, Dr Mahathir would only say: “No deal.”

He personally ordered travel restrictions on Najib last Saturday after news spread that the latter was about to fly off to Jakarta for a short break.

Dr Mahathir was also asked on his plans for controversial businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, who is said to be either in Thailand or China.

“Once we discover the money and identify the people involved we will take the usual action through extradition.

“We will want to bring him back and put him on trial,” said Dr Mahathir.

The Prime Minister said the Government already had a lot of information from the United States Department of Justice, Singapore and Switzerland.

At least three other countries are also investigating the Malaysian sovereign fund.

Swiss federal prosecutors are also seeking quick talks with Malaysian counterparts on how to press forward with investigations into suspected corruption surrounding 1MDB, the Swiss attorney-general’s office said.

“After the latest developments in Malaysia, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) is very much interested in renewing dialogue with the competent authorities in Malaysia.

“In order to establish the most efficient form of cooperation and to ensure good coordination of the criminal investigations, the OAG favours an exchange between partnering authorities at their earliest convenience,” an OAG spokesman said by email.

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