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Monday, January 4, 2016

Investigation into RM2.6 billion incomplete, MACC needed more info overseas

The attorney-general will study the request made by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to help obtain documents and statements from overseas as part of its probe into the RM2.6 billion donated to Datuk Seri Najib Razak, a lawyer said.

This was after the anti-graft body handed over investigation papers on SRC International and the RM2.6 billion transferred into the prime minister’s accounts.

“The A-G will have to determine if the request is reasonable before deciding to facilitate the investigating agency,” said S.N. Nair, a former police officer with experience in recording statements from witnesses overseas and collecting documentary evidence.

Nair said all this depended on what the MACC was looking for to complete its investigations.

“The A-G will only contact the Malaysian Foreign Affairs Ministry which will then get in touch with their counterparts to assist the MACC,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Nair said foreign countries then got in touch with their justice minister or attorney-general, who has the final say on whether help would be extended to MACC in the probe.

“They can decline the request to record statements from witnesses and having access to documents because that involved the sovereignty of a nation,” Nair added.

He said this in response to a statement by MACC’s deputy commission Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull on December 31 that the RM2.6 billion probe was incomplete.

“MACC still needs to complete investigations regarding documents and statements involving several overseas financial institutions.

“These documents and statements can only be taken through mutual legal assistance (MLA) as this is tied to the banking laws of the countries involved,” Shukri said.

He said the agency has filed a request with the A-G to get the MLA.

On that day, MACC had also handed the A-G an investigation paper on SRC International and the RM2.6 billion donation.

MACC said it was satisfied with the testimony of more than 100 witnesses, including the individual who allegedly gave RM2.6 billion to Najib.

“The investigations involving witnesses in the country are complete. A statement from the party alleged to be the donor was also taken down,” Shukri said.

He said the investigation paper on SRC International was also presented to an independent panel before it was submitted to the A-G.

The five panel members – former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Musa Hassan, former Court of Appeals judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah, former Bank Negara deputy governor Datuk Zamandi Abdul Ghani, former chairman of the Malaysian Bar Lim  Chee Wee, and lawyer Datuk Zuraidah Atan – are representatives of independent bodies monitoring MACC’s progress.

Najib said the RM2.6 billion was a donation and the transactions were above board.

The prime minister has denied the money was from public funds or linked to state-owned investment firm 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The Wall Street Journal alleged in a July 2 report that the money came from SRC International, a subsidiary of 1MDB.

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