KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak and others charged over the theft of funds from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) will be tried fairly, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad promised.
Dr Mahathir reiterated his Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration’s commitment not to meddle with the judiciary as the ruling coalition wanted the third branch of government to be truly “free”.
“We believe in the rule of law. Whatever the law says, we accept.
“I must admit that, in the previous regime, there is an attempt to fiddle with the judiciary. But we want a free judiciary and we hope that they will not be biased,” he told CNBC in an interview in Singapore yesterday.
Asked specifically about Najib, Dr Mahathir emphasised that the rule of law will be upheld regardless if his predecessor is found guilty or innocent.
“If he has to be trialed, he should be trialed. If he’s charged and he’s found guilty, then the rule of law will apply. If he’s found innocent, then the rule of law will also apply.”
Najib has been indicted on multiple counts of criminal, corruption and money laundering charges over hundreds of millions of dollars allegedly stolen from the debt-riddled sovereign investment fund and its former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd since July.
His wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was last month slapped with 17 counts of laundering money from 1MDB.
Both have pleaded innocent of wrongdoing.
Najib has gone further and claimed the charges to be political persecution by the PH government as he had been cleared of wrongdoing by the man whom he appointed as the then Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali.