French list Malaysian PM Najib Razak in bribery case file, The Australian, February 6, 2016
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is facing a new front in a multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal bedevilling his administration, with French investigators probing whether he received bribes as defence minister in a $1.2 billion submarine contract.Swiss probe finds ‘indications’ of $4bn being misappropriated, Financial Times, January 30, 2016
The investigation centres on Thales International Asia’s 2002 contract to deliver two submarines to the Malaysian government and whether the company’s former president, Bernard Baiocco, indirectly paid kickbacks to Mr Najib to secure the deal.
Mr Baiocco was indicted last December for allegedly paying commissions to Abdul Razak Baginda, a political analyst purportedly close friend of Mr Najib.
But Britain’s Financial Times cited sources close to the investigation — including Mr Baiocco’s lawyer Jean-Yves Le Borgne — confirming that judicial documents also named Mr Najib as a suspected recipient...
Swiss authorities said they had found “serious indications” that about $4bn had been misappropriated from Malaysian state companies following a criminal investigation into 1Malaysia Development Berhad, the state development fund.Net may be tightening on Najib, The Strait Times, February 2, 2016
The Swiss attorney-general said in a statement on Friday that a “small portion” of the money was transferred to accounts held in Switzerland by former Malaysian public officials and former and current officials from the United Arab Emirates.
The statement is a blow to Malaysian efforts to contain the scandal. Najib Razak, prime minister, denies claims of misappropriation of funds linked to 1MDB. The fund, established in 2009, is supervised by an advisory board chaired by the prime minister.
Malaysia’s attorney-general said this week that the premier had no case to answer in relation to $680m transferred to his personal bank account.
The Swiss attorney-general said the funds believed to have been misappropriated “would have been earmarked for investment in economic and social development projects in Malaysia”...
Malaysia may have absolved its prime minister in a huge corruption scandal, but the authorities in other countries investigating suspicious global fund flows are making clear the affair is far from over and that the net may be tightening, say observers.
Malaysia's attorney-general last week cleared Prime Minister Najib Razak of wrongdoing in accepting a mysterious US$681 million (S$974 million) payment from overseas, sparking accusations of a cover-up in the case.
"The Swiss and Singaporeans are obviously worried that (clearing Mr Najib) looks detrimental to their ongoing investigations," said Ms Cynthia Gabriel, head of C4, a Malaysian anti-graft non-governmental organisation.
"But this is definitely far from over and looks like the noose is tightening on Najib," she added, referring to the new details announced by the Swiss and Singaporeans.
Within days of Datuk Seri Najib's clearing, the authorities in Switzerland and Singapore raised the pressure, pointedly responding that investigations into an array of Malaysian money movements were forging ahead and releasing new information...