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Friday, July 31, 2015

Details of 1MDB probe will not be made public, says A-G

Despite public interest in the ongoing investigations into the controversial 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), details of the probe including witness statements would not be disclosed, the Attorney-General (A-G) said today.
Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali (pic) said that it would also be inappropriate to disclose the advice, instructions, directions or guidance the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) has given to the task force investigating the fund.
"While the public is entitled to be informed, details of criminal investigations which comprise of, among other things, contents of statements given by witnesses are privileged and the law prohibits such matters to be disclosed," the A-G said in a statement today.
"As the investigating agencies have repeatedly emphasised in previous media statements on this matter, it is crucial to preserve the integrity of the investigation as the public must not doubt the investigation," he said.
"To this end the investigating agencies have issued media statements to provide general updates on developments in the investigation. This includes the raid on the offices of 1MDB in Kuala Lumpur on 8 July 2015 and on the materials seized there. 
"Media statements have also been issued by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the arrest and remand of persons to assist in their investigations in this matter."
The A-G's statement comes after the five independent oversight panels of the MACC said on Wednesday that the investigations by the special task force should be conducted in an independent manner without any interference or pressure from any third party.
The five panels said that members of the task force, which includes the AGC, the Royal Malaysian Police, Bank Negara Malaysia and the MACC, should be allowed to conduct the probe without fear or favour.
The five panels today urged the newly-appointed A-G to provide "clear updates" on developments in the investigations so as to prevent negative perceptions of the public towards the agencies in the task force.
The task force was formed to investigate 1MDB and claims that billions of ringgit were transferred from other companies linked to the fund into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's personal accounts.
Speculations have been rife that the abrupt removal of Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail as attorney-general on Monday was so that Najib, who is being investigated over the 1MDB scandal, could stay on in office.
The Wall Street Journal and whistleblower website Sarawak Report reported that up to US$700 million (RM2.67 billion) was allegedly transferred from state-owned funds into two bank accounts under Najib's name with AmBank in early 2013.
The prime minister, however, has denied ever taking any funds from 1MDB for "personal gain" but has not commented directly on the fund transfers. His accounts which allegedly received the funds have since been closed.
- TMI

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