Ahead of MACC meet, Najib parts ways with legal team

Loghun Kumaran
Lawyer Harpal Singh Grewal speaks to reporters outside former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s house in Taman Duta May 19, 2018. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 — In a surprise last minute twist to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) probe, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has parted ways with his legal team, only hours before giving a statement to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Datuk Harpal Singh Grewal confirmed to Malay Mail last night that he and M. Athimulan, who previously represented Najib, have withdrawn from the case.

He said a new seven-man team led by former solicitor-general Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden would be taking over the case.

“Zainal has got his own team and he prefers to work with that team,” Harpal said when contacted here, referring to Najib.

“It's no big deal, it happens in matters like this,” he added.

Asked why this happened so close to Najib's meeting with the MACC, Harpal said that he was unable to comment on the matter.

This morning, Najib will have to turn up at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya to provide a statement.

Failure to do so could see him charged under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009

The former prime minister is under a money-laundering probe linked to 1MDB, but has maintained his innocence throughout.

The investigation has seen raids launched on the  Prime Minister’s Office in Perdana Putra, as well as private properties linked to the Pekan MP, including the Taman Duta mansion where he and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor are currently living, and two luxury condominium units at Block A and B of the Pavilion Residences in Kuala Lumpur.