Malaysia’s anti-graft agency said Monday that $700 million in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts were from lawful donations, clearing him of any criminal wrongdoing. A Wall Street Journal report last month accused Razak of drawing money from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a state-controlled investment fund, which is burdened with debt.
An inquiry into the corruption allegations showed the money was “merely from donors, in lieu of 1MDB fund,” the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said in a statement. However, the agency did not mention the source of the donations.
The Journal report alleged that Malaysian government investigators found proof that the money in Razak’s bank accounts was transferred through various state agencies, banks and companies associated with 1MDB, which was set up by his government in 2009. The fund currently has more than $11 billion of debt.
Najib had denied the accusations at the time, calling them “vile” and “malicious” and threatened legal action against the newspaper. "The article is tainted with numerous allegations against our client which involved several companies and transactions," Najib's legal team said last month. "Once our client has obtained all necessary facts and the position of WSJ is ascertained, we have strict instructions to immediately exhaust legal avenues and remedies."
The commission’s response comes on the heels of Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail’s sudden end of tenure last Monday. The same day, the 62-year-old prime minister also showed pink slip to Muhyiddin Yassin, the deputy prime minister, who had criticized the handling of the allegations against Razak.
Gani, who was set to retire in October, confirmed last month that he received documents from investigators that linked Najib to 1MDB fund, the Associated Press reported Monday. These documents could reportedly have made Razak liable for possible criminal charges.