Official Confirms Saudi Arabia Gave Millions to Najib

BenarNews Staff
160415-MY-saudi-donation-620.jpg Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir confirmed reports that someone from his country donated millions to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister has confirmed that someone from his country deposited a “donation” into Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s bank account, becoming the first official from that country to back the Malaysian leader’s assertion about the origin of the funds.

The statement came after a bilateral meeting between Saudi and Malaysian officials, according to reports, as international entities probe alleged corruption and mismanagement of money at One Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a troubled state investment fund chaired by Najib.

“We are aware of the donation, and it is a genuine donation with nothing expected in return,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Malaysian reporters Thursday, on the sidelines of an Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit in Istanbul.

“We are also fully aware that the attorney general of Malaysia has thoroughly investigated the matter and found no wrongdoing, so as far as we’re concerned, this matter is closed,” al-Jubeir said.

The Saudi official did not give any further details about the transaction, such as when it occurred, who contributed the money, or for what purpose. Nor did he mention 1MDB.

In March, the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed “global investigators,” reported that deposits into Najib’s personal accounts had totaled more than U.S. one billion dollars, much of it originating with the state development fund.

The U.S. financial newspaper has also reported that U.S. $200 million flowed into Najib’s accounts in 2011 and 2012 from a Saudi individual and Saudi Arabia’s finance ministry.

Attorney general closes investigation in January

In January, Malaysian Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali announced that his office was closing investigations into 1MDB-linked corruption scandals facing Najib, particularly one involving a deposit of U.S. $681 million into his private bank accounts before the 2013 election.

Apandi said no criminal offense had been committed, that most of the money had been returned, and that it was a “personal donation” from Saudi Arabia’s royal family.

Najib has maintained he never took any of the money for private gain. But soon after news of the scandal broke in July, he sacked Abdul Gani Patail, the attorney general at the time who was heading an inter-agency task force probing that and other scandals associated with 1MDB.

1MDB has also repeatedly denied that it paid any money into Najib’s accounts.

In a television segment last month, the Australian Broadcasting Co. reported that Najib received U.S. $75 million from a Saudi prince and U.S. $80 million from the Saudi Finance Ministry to fight extremism.

In a statement released after the program aired, the Malaysian Prime Minister’s office said it had confirmed Najib’s version of events.

“And, what multiple lawful authorities concluded after exhaustive investigations: the funds were a donation from the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia. The investigations included forensic examination of every wire transfer. Malaysian authorities also travelled to Saudi Arabia to examine documentation and interview members of the Royal Family, and the officials that administered the donation,” a statement said.


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