Malaysian Politician Anwar Ibrahim Released from Prison

Malaysia’s freed Anwar Ibrahim hails ‘new dawn’ after poll win

Malaysian police spent hours early Thursday searching former Prime Minister Najib Razak's house, reportedly part of a money-laundering investigation linked to a state investment fund that is being investigated overseas.

Wednesday's raid lasted for nearly 18 hours, according to a representative on Najib's legal team, Harpal Singh Grewal.

This comes after a nighttime search at Mr Najib's home this week, when police seized personal items including several boxes of items like handbags, clothes and personal belongings as evidence, his lawyer said.

Documents relating to 1MDB were also seized from Najib's office, while the search of his home on Thursday lasted nearly 18 hours.

But Amar Singh, head of the Malaysian police commercial crime investigation unit, on Friday confirmed the raids were linked to investigations into accusations that Najib, his family, and cronies looted billions from a state investment fund he founded.

He also questioned the timing of the search, which "denied the right" of Mr Najib's family and staff to properly conduct their religious obligations before the opening of fast on the first day of Ramadan.

Najib has been accused of corruption and the mismanagement of 1MDB, which he established in 2009.

More than a dozen police vehicles arrived at Najib's house late Wednesday shortly after he returned home from prayers at a nearby mosque, fueling speculation that he may be arrested after new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad warned that he could be charged soon over the 1MDB fund fiasco.

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US investigators say Najib's associates stole and laundered $4.5 billion from the fund, some of which landed in Najib's bank account, and that $23 million was used to buy a pink diamond necklace for his wife.

"I am also relieved that within the new Pakatan Harapan government, there is at least one leader who displays a moderate character, which reflects the Malaysian culture of placing emphasis on politeness and courtesy", he said.

Jailed Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim walked free on Wednesday after receiving a royal pardon, paving the way for his return to national politics as the presumptive successor to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad following a stunning election upset.

On Saturday, Najib and his wife were blacklisted from leaving the country. Police officials did not comment.

Despite being imprisoned by the-then Prime Minister Mahathir two decades ago, Anwar said he has forgiven the 92-year-old leader, and vowed to support the government's efforts to clean up corruption in the country.

The euphoric scenes that greeted the release of Malaysia's reformist Anwar Ibrahim from jail on Wednesday would have been unimaginable just last week, when the country's longtime authoritarian regime looked set for another general election victory. He said it will be challenging for the new government to clean up the financial mess.

Mr Mahathir has promised to step aside for Mr Anwar to become prime minister within two years.

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