Newly elected Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has placed the country's attorney general on leave as he prepares to reopen a corruption probe involving state-owned investment fund 1MDB.
Mahathir announced Monday that he is replacing Attorney General Apandi Ali with the country's solicitor-general. Apandi cleared ousted Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2016 of any wrongdoing in the scandal. U.S. authorities say officials of 1MDB embezzled $4.5 billion from the fund, some of which was discovered in Najib's personal bank account. Najib — who chaired 1MDB's advisory board — has denied any wrongdoing.
The head of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is also being replaced by Mahathir. Dzulkifli Ahmad was appointed by Najib in 2016.
Prime Minister Mahathir has also banned Najib and his wife from leaving Malaysia, after a leaked flight manifesto showed Najib and his wife were scheduled to leave on a private jet Saturday for Jakarta.
Meanwhile, the former director of intelligence and investigations of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission filed a formal complaint Monday accusing Najib of blocking the probe into the 1MDB scandal.
Voter anger over the 1MDB scandal led to the upset victory in last week's parliamentary elections by Mahathir's Alliance of Hope opposition coalition over Najib and his Barisan Nasional coalition, ending the latter's 61-year-rule over Malaysia. The victory made the 92-year-old Mahathir, who ruled Malaysia with an iron fist between 1981 and 2003, the world's oldest elected leader.