Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister Adel al-Jubeir (photo) does not think that the US$681 million which made its way into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bank account was from the Saudi government or that it was a political donation, The New York Times reports today.
He was also quoted as saying the money went to an “investment in Malaysia”.
“It is a private Saudi citizen, I believe, and the funds went to an investment in Malaysia,” he said in an interview with the NYT published yesterday.
The daily also quoted a member of the royal family and a close associate of the family, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying that the money had come from a Saudi prince, but that it was not a donation.
The associate also reportedly questioned the sum, but said the funds were part of a business deal.
Last month, Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali said the US$681 million deposited into Najib’s personal accounts was a donation from the Saudi royal family given “without any consideration” and closed the case.
But authorities in Switzerland investigating state investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) uncovered that some US$4 billion (RM16.8 billion) have been misappropriated from state companies.
Swiss attorney-general Michael Lauber has also expressed concern over his Malaysian counterpart’s decision to stop investigations into the funds transferred into Najib’s accounts, saying the move could hamper Switzerland’s own probe into 1MDB.
Apandi responded that the ongoing Swiss investigations into 1MDB were separate from the donation case. – MInsider