Malaysia’s anti-corruption chief who investigated 1MDB resigns

Malaysia’s anti-corruption chief who investigated the 1MDB fraud said on Friday that she had resigned, the second such exit from a government official in the last few days after a party that was defeated in the 2018 general election came back to power.

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who unexpectedly resigned last month after his coalition collapsed, has accused the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) of orchestrating a return to power so that its officials escape conviction in the alleged theft of billions of dollars from state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Latheefa Koya of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said there was no pressure on her to resign and that new Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is backed by UMNO, understood her decision to put in her papers. She said she wanted to return to her practice as a human rights advocate.

“I also briefed the prime minister about our ongoing actions and efforts for the recovery of the stolen 1MDB monies from abroad,” Latheefa said in a statement. “He was fully supportive of these actions.”

In January, Latheefa revealed audio clips at a news conference that she called proof of a high-level criminal conspiracy to cover up wrongdoing in the 1MDB case for which former Prime Minister Najib Razak is facing trial.

Najib denies the charges.

In an interview on Wednesday, Najib said the fall of the government that removed him meant he now expected an atmosphere more conducive to a fair hearing.

Malaysia’s Attorney General Tommy Thomas, who had brought the corruption charges against Najib and other members of the former UMNO administration, quit last week.

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