Malaysian officials question wife of former PM over graft claims

Wife of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, Rosmah Mansor, was questioned by investigators for hours on Tuesday over the alleged misappropriation of funds at SRC International, a former subsidiary of the state company 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Rosmah’s lawyer K. Kumaraendran said she cooperated with the officers of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC- headquarters pictured) and they treated her well.

Najib too was questioned by MACC on May 22 and 24 this year over suspicious cash transfer from SRC International.

Wall Street Journal, which exposed the 1MDB scandal in 2015, had reported that $10.4 million from SRC was transferred to Najib’s personal bank accounts between 2014 and 2015. It also reported that Najib allegedly transferred $681 million from 1MDB to his personal accounts.

Malaysia’s new prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, won the May 9 election ousting Najib on the promise of recovering billions of dollars allegedly stolen from the state fund by top officials.

Najib has denied any wrongdoing. He claimed the $681 million cash was a gift from the Saudi royal family and his claim was backed by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

Najib was cleared of corruption charge linked to the $681 million cash transfer by then attorney-general Apandi Ali.

Soon after assuming power, Mahathir cracked the whip by ordering raids on residences and offices owned by Najib and his family in 12 premises. Investigators seized 284 boxes filled with designer handbags, watches, jewellery and huge amount of cash in various currencies. Najib and his wife were barred from leaving the country.

Civil suits in US too

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has filed several civil suits alleging that $4.5 billion was siphoned off from 1MDB by its high-level officials and their associates between 2009 and 2015.

DoJ claimed last year that $30 million was spent on a diamond necklace for Rosmah in 2013, months after the $681 million cash transfer to Najib’s accounts.