Malaysia prosecutor clears PM Najib Razak of $681 million corruption case
Jan 27, 2016 09:38 PM EST
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was acquitted of criminal offences by the Attorney general he appointed. Attorney general Mohamed Apandi Ali said the $681 million was a gift from the royal family in Saudi and is not connected to troubled state fund 1MDB.
The Guardian reports that Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali said that the Saudi gift transferred into the prime minister's account is in fact, a donation with no traces of criminal offense or corruption. The involvement of the Saudi royal family into the scandal is the twist that cleared the prime minister from accusations over the troubled indebted state fund of 1Malaysia Development Berhad, which he chairs.
Apandi said $620 million of the gift was returned to the family as it was not used. He also emphasized that "There was no reason given as to why the donation was made to PM Najib - that is between him and the Saudi family," but further said he is satisfied with the findings.
This "donation", however, just confirmed allegations about one of Asia's most important powers, as published on The Independent UK. The Prime Minister, who rose to power in 2009, has spurred questionable relationships over the years - one with a scandal prone banker, and another with a mysterious Saudi Arabia financier.
In 2013, both the prime minister and the mysterious financier were on the spotlight when they announced a joint venture between Emirates and Malaysia that would open hundreds of thousands of jobs for the people. A massive amount of £6.4bn will be given for Malaysian projects that will be supervised by none other than 1MDB. As months went by, the Emirates suddenly failed to keep their side of the bargain while half of the $3 billion raised by 1MDB went missing.
This scandal has angered many Malaysians. With the 4620 million returned, people are now asking where the $61 million went. BBC reported that the prime minister's party the missing millions have funded party activities including the prime minister's re-election in 2013. Oppositions said the money was used to buy votes.
While this scandal has cast an ugly shadow on Najib's leadership, the decision that clears him from corruption will secure his position for now.