WALL Street Journal Hong Kong bureau chief Ken Brown said its report that 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds worth millions of US dollars were channeled into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's personal bank account come from reliable investigation and not a political investigation.
Brown told CNBC that WSJ
had been very careful with the report as it involved a country’s leader.
"We are very careful and we believe the investigation and documents
we have are
solid and come from reliable investigation and not a political investigation.
"It’s a significant story and we take it very seriously.
you say a leader of a country has been... or
at least evidence shows money
has been forwarded to his accounts, personal accounts, and tied to government deals, it is usually dramatic," Brown told the business channel.
Brown said the documents they possessed had been shared with the Attorney-General and had also been seen by the prime minister.
After the report was published, the Prime Minister’s Office in a statement issued on their Facebook account criticised
the action of several individuals which "affected the confidence in the country’s economy, discredited both the government and the prime minister and toppled the prime minister who was democratically elected."
According to the statement, the latest claim was part of a continuous political sabotage aimed at misleading the media and the public by using amended documents. READ: 1MDB says it never provided funds to Najib
In response, Brown said: “And they are accusing their political opponents of coming up with this story to get him.
"And that is the same kind of stuff they said from our earlier story on 1MDB, the way the money the fund took in was used in the last election campaign by the prime minister, so the reaction been the same.”
In the interview, Brown admitted not knowing where the money went to.
“The trail that we have ends
at the bank accounts (with) the prime minister's name on them,” he said.
On Friday, WSJ and Sarawak Report had published reports of the 1MDB money transferred to Najib's personal Ambank account. WSJ
reported that the document had traced nearly US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) was transferred to a government agency and later credited into
the Prime Minister’s personal accounts in separate deposits.
In response, Najib said he will take action against WSJ. READ: Najib to take action against WSJ: report
Najib's political secretary Datuk Muhammad Khairun Aseh who told Sinar Harian this said the report was criminal defamation.
He told the daily the report was done with bad intention, unsubstantiated and based on dubious sources.
"We will take legal action," he told the daily on Friday.