Najib’s wife held, released in solar project case

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Kuala Lumpur, April 9 (IANS) Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s wife was briefly arrested on Tuesday by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in a case related to a solar project.

Rosmah Mansor who faces 19 charges of corruption was called for questioning to the MACC headquarters, where she was arrested, the authorities said in a statement. Rosmah was later released on bail.

The police on Wednesday is expected to present more corruption charges against her in relation to a solar power project in the Sarawak state, on the island of Borneo, Efe news reported.

Rosmah, the anti-graft agency said, will be charged under Section 16 (A) of the MACC 2009 Act. The MACC said it obtained approval from the Attorney General’s Chambers to frame charges against Rosmah.

Najib who faces 42 charges of corruption and his wife are accused of diverting funds from the state-owned investment agency, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), into their private accounts.

The former Prime Minister’s legal troubles began in 2015 when a media investigation uncovered the diversion of 2.6 billion ringgit ($637 million) to his private accounts from 1MDB.

The first of the many corruption trials against Najib began on April 3, while the date is yet to be finalised for Rosmah.

Najib denies all charges. He lost the general election in May 2018 to the party, led by veteran Mahathir Mohamad, his former mentor. Mahathir opened investigation into corruption allegations against the former Prime Minister.

Besides Malaysia, about half a dozen other countries, including the US, Switzerland and Singapore, are investigating the scam.

According to the US Justice Department, of the $4.5 billion diverted from 1MDB, $1 billion would have been laundered in the US through purchase of real estate, yachts, jewellery and works of art.

–IANS

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