KUALA LUMPUR,. Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak could face further prosecution over the 1MDB corruption scandal, this time over transactions linked to Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC).
A New Straits Times (NST) report quoting sources said Najib’s role in these transactions is being studied and may result in four new charges over a debt settlement payment made to the sovereign wealth fund last year.
The report suggested that these could invite criminal breach of trust charges against the ex-PM, adding that the investigation material is already with the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
According to the NST, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigators had zeroed in on how the settlement was made by the former administration allegedly using taxpayers’ monies without the express approval of the Cabinet.
Najib has already been summoned to the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya twice for questioning over the 1MDB and IPIC dealings, on October 16 and 18.
He was the chairman of 1MDB’s board of advisors from its inception to when it was dissolved in May 2016, before having its assets were taken over by the Finance Ministry.
Chronologically, the settlement was first triggered by 1MDB’s default on a bond payment due in 2016, which was guaranteed by IPIC, for the acquisition of two power plants the report claimed.
The resulting settlement then saw IPIC refer the dispute to the London Court of Arbitration.
The dispute centres around the financial sleight of hand in which payments were routed to a firm in the British Virgin Islands whose named mimicked that of Aabar Investments PJS, a subsidiary of IPIC.
IPIC and Aabar both disavowed knowledge or links to one “Aabar Investments PJS Ltd (Aabar BVI)” that reportedly accepted US$1.2 billion (RM4.99 billion) from 1MDB.
Najib is already facing 32 charges of money laundering, criminal breach of trust, abuse of power related to 1MDB and one of its former subsidiaries.
His wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, is also facing 17 charges of money laundering, although it is unclear if these are related to the 1MDB scandal.