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Opposition Party Sues Malaysian PM Over $700M in Donations

  • Associated Press

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak arrives for a Ramadan breakfast at a mosque in Semenyih outside Kuala Lumpur, July 5, 2015. Razak is facing the risk of criminal charges over allegations that hundreds of millions of dollars were funneled from an indebted state fund to his personal bank accounts.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak arrives for a Ramadan breakfast at a mosque in Semenyih outside Kuala Lumpur, July 5, 2015. Razak is facing the risk of criminal charges over allegations that hundreds of millions of dollars were funneled from an indebted state fund to his personal bank accounts.

A Malaysian opposition party Wednesday filed a civil lawsuit against Prime Minister Najib Razak for alleged election offenses involving $700 million in his bank accounts.

The anti-graft agency recently announced the money, most of which was received ahead of March 2013 general elections, came from donations and not from state investment fund 1MDB.

The People's Justice Party said the money was 26 times above the amount that Najib's ruling National Front coalition was allowed to spend in the elections. The National Front, which has ruled since independence from Britain in 1957, won the elections but lost the popular vote for the first time to an opposition alliance that includes the People's Justice Party.

The party's vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar said the lawsuit will reveal “all kinds of bribes and corrupt tactics” allegedly used by the National Front to win the elections. With evidence of corrupt transactions, she said the results of the 2013 general elections should be nullified and new polls should be called.

The party also named 1MDB, the Election Commission and Adnan Mansor, the secretary-general of Najib's ruling Malay party, in the lawsuit.

Government officials couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

1MDB, set up in 2009 by Najib who still chairs its advisory board, has debts of 42 billion ringgit ($10.4 billion) after its energy ventures abroad faltered. Critics have voiced concern about 1MDB's massive debt and lack of transparency.

The 1MDB crisis has partly contributed to the Malaysian currency crashing to 4 ringgit to the dollar on Wednesday, the lowest since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.

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