KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is facing the risk of criminal charges over allegations that hundreds of millions of dollars were funnelled from an indebted state fund to his personal bank accounts, the first time a Malaysian leader has faced criminal allegations.
The attorney general confirmed late on Saturday that he has received documents from an official investigation that made the link between Najib and the investment fund 1MDB.
The existence of the documents was first reported by the Asian Wall Street Journal on Friday, showing some $700 million were wired from entities linked to the fund into Najib’s accounts.
The documents sent to the attorney general pave the way for possible criminal charges. It is one of the worst political crises for Najib, who has come under increasing criticism over his leadership.
He has denied taking any money for personal gains. “It’s damning and disastrous for Najib,” said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, who heads the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs think-tank.
“This is really uncharted territory in Malaysian politics. For the first time ever, we are seeing a prime minister facing the possibility of a criminal charge,” he said.