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1MDB charges against Najib were ready but former A-G made to retire

Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has confirmed that a charge sheet against ex-premier Najib Razak was prepared by former attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail in 2015 before the legal adviser was promptly placed on early retirement by the then PM.

"He claims that he was preparing to charge Najib and that morning he was deprived of his position," said Dr Mahathir at a press conference yesterday.

Mr Abdul Gani was retired as attorney-general in July 2015 due to what the government said were his "health problems" and replaced by Mr Apandi Ali.

Mr Abdul Gani was at the time heading a task force investigating money-laundering allegations at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

His dismissal sparked media speculation that he was preparing charges of criminal misappropriation against Mr Najib, after RM2.6 billion (S$880 million) allegedly linked to 1MDB was found in the former premier's personal account.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysia was committed to pay any debt linked to 1MDB, if it had been guaranteed by the government.

"We have to... if it implicates the government, the government has to pay," he said.

He also said Malaysia would reach out to other countries to return any 1MDB funds they may have received.

"The focus on corruption is important because we need to get back money that is still in Swiss (Switzerland), the US, Singapore and maybe Luxumbourg. For this, we will contact the governments of the countries to recover the money there," Dr Mahathir said.

- REUTERS, THE STRAITS TIMES

Singapore ready to provide further help on 1MDB probe: CAD, MAS

The Singapore authorities are fully prepared to extend further assistance to their Malaysian counterparts on transactions related to scandal-plagued state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a statement yesterday.

"The Singapore authorities have cooperated extensively with their Malaysian counterparts on their past requests for information in relation to 1MDB-related transactions and are fully prepared to extend further assistance.

"Singapore has also taken swift action against financial institutions and individuals who have broken laws within our jurisdiction in connection with 1MDB-related fund flows," they said in the joint statement, issued in response to media queries.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia would contact authorities in Switzerland, Singapore, the US and elsewhere to recover 1MDB funds that were misappropriated under former prime minister Najib Razak's administration.

"The amount is quite big and will help us settle some debts," he added. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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