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Malaysian Prime Minister Threatens to Sue Wall Street Journal for Corruption Report

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has threatened to sue The Wall Street Journal after they reported that a Malaysian probe found documents proving money from a state investment fund found its way into his personal bank accounts.

The Democratic Action Party (DAP) told Razak to sue if the allegations are not true.

DAP member Lim Kit Siang stated:

Najib cannot just rely on an ambivalent and ambiguous denial as sufficient response to the WSJ report yesterday, especially as WSJ today stood by its report and defended its investigative article accusing the prime minister of embezzlement, saying it was based on government investigations the report of which was seen by Najib himself.

The Wall Street Journal claims the documents show Najib’s bank accounts received $700 million from state-owned investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). Attorney General Abdul Patail announced a task force discovered the documents after they raided offices linked to 1MDB.

“I confirm that I have received documents from the special task force related to 1MDB, including documents related to the allegations of channeling of funds to accounts owned by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak,” he declared.

Reporters at The Wall Street Journal reviewed the documents, which included bank “transfer forms and flow charts put together by government investigators that reflect their understanding of the path of the cash.” The documents do not show the original source of the huge deposits, though.

Najib founded 1MDB and remained the head on the board of advisors. But the company faced pressure because it “amassed $11 billion in debt it is struggling to repay.” Here are a few transactions The Wall Street Journal noted:

By far the largest transactions were two deposits of $620 million and $61 million in March 2013, during a heated election campaign in Malaysia, the documents show. The cash came from a company registered in the British Virgin Islands via a Swiss bank owned by an Abu Dhabi state fund. The fund, International Petroleum Investment Co., or IPIC, has guaranteed billions of dollars of 1MDB’s bonds and in May injected $1 billion in capital into the fund to help meet looming debt repayments. A spokeswoman for IPIC couldn’t be reached for comment. The British Virgin Islands company, Tanore Finance Corp., couldn’t be reached.

Another set of transfers, totaling 42 million ringgit ($11.1 million), originated within the Malaysian government, according to the investigation. Investigators believe the money came from an entity known as SRC International Sdn. Bhd., an energy company that originally was controlled by 1MDB but was transferred to the Finance Ministry in 2012. Mr. Najib is also the finance minister.

The money moved through another company owned by SRC International and then to a company that works exclusively for 1MDB, and finally to Mr. Najib’s personal accounts in three separate deposits, the government documents show.

In 2002, then-Defense Minister Najib purchased two French submarines. French investigators found documents that stated Najib told shipbuilding company DCNS they must pay him $1 billion just to meet with him about the submarines. They also found out the company Perimeker, which was linked to Najib’s associate Abdul Razak Baginda, also received numerous kickbacks and deals valued over $125 million.

Mongolian model and translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, 28, was allegedly murdered because she helped with the submarine deal. She also had an affair with Baginda. In 2006, someone led her “to an isolated knoll, tied-up, shot, before having explosives attached to her body and detonated in a bizarre attempt, the courts heard, at destroying the evidence.” She was pregnant at the time.

An appeals court overturned convictions against two police officers who were charged with her murder. They were scheduled to hang before the court stepped in and freed them.

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