Najib’s defence team in tatters after lawyers quit

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 05 Jun 2018

PETALING JAYA: Former top notch prosecutor Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden and senior criminal lawyer M. Puravalen have discharged themselves as Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's legal team.

This is the second team of legal advisors who have pulled out from representing the former premier.

On May 21, lawyers Datuk Harpal Singh Grewal and M. Athimulan withdrew from Najib's legal team.

When contacted, Puravalen merely said that it was a mutual decision executed on Monday (June 4).

“No comments on the decision except to say that it was an amicable parting,” said the lawyer with over 35 years’ experience.

Mohd Yusof would not comment except to say that “I need to sleep now. It was a sleepless night for me yesterday”.

Najib, ousted in a stunning election defeat last month, gave a statement to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on May 22 and 24 over a suspicious transfer of RM42mil (US$10.6mil) into his bank account.

He has consistently denied any wrongdoing related to 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad) since the scandal erupted in 2015, but he replaced an attorney-general and several MACC officers to allegedly shut down an investigation.

Najib has said that the RM2.6bil (US$681mil) worth of funds deposited in his personal bank account were a donation from a Saudi royal, rebutting reports that it came from 1MDB.

Now answering to a different prime minister, the MACC has reopened its investigation, initially focusing on how RM42mil went from SRC International to Najib's account.

SRC was created in 2011 by Najib's government to pursue overseas investments in energy resources, and was a unit of 1MDB until it was moved to the Finance Ministry in 2012.

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