‘Gani was to charge Najib on 1MDB’

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (The Star/ANN) - Former Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail (pic) was preparing to charge Najib Razak in 2015 before he was removed from his post.

This was what Abdul Gani told Mahathir Mohamad when they met on Tuesday, the Prime Minister said.

 Mahathir said he wanted to hear Abdul Gani’s version of what had happened during the course of the investigation into 1MDB.

“Gani claimed that he was preparing to charge Najib that morning but he was deprived of his position,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

When asked if Abdul Gani had presented any documents pertaining to the 1MDB investigation, the Prime Minister said the former A-G only gave a verbal account.

Dr Mahathir also said the Govern­ment would work towards recovering funds belonging to 1MDB from abroad, including some RM17.8bil in the United States.

Apart from the US, 1MDB money is also said to be in Switzerland and Singapore.

Dr Mahathir said the money could not be claimed earlier because the previous government did not admit that it belonged to 1MDB.

“Because there was no admission, no claim could be made to recover it. We will declare the money is ours and will apply for it to be released to us.

“This is important because the amount is big and it can help us clear some debts,” he said, adding that the total amount which can be recovered has yet to be determined.

He said former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah’s removal from the Finance Ministry was to facilitate investigations into 1MDB.

On whether or not debts incurred by 1MDB would be settled by the new government, the Prime Minister said: “We have to. If it implicates the Government we will have to pay or we will be sued and go bankrupt.”

He said he had met with “what remains of the board of 1MDB to get a clearer picture”.

When asked when Najib would be called to have his statement recorded, Dr Mahathir said it was up to the police.

He also gave an assurance that all those questioned over 1MDB would be treated fairly.

“There will be no torture, neither will they be questioned at ungodly hours or be detained in a dark and isolated room,” he said.

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