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Former Malaysia premier files corruption suit against PM

[JURIST] Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Prime Minister Najib Razak [official website] alleging corruption and abuse of power. The lawsuit comes after allegations and formal charges were made against Razak for his actions in depositing state funds into his personal account. In January the Malaysian Attorney General's Office cleared the prime minister of corruption charges, announcing that the USD $681 million in Razak's personal bank account that was previously alleged to be from a state investment fund were actually discovered [JURIST report] to be a personal donation from the Saudi royal family. Razak has always denied the accusations, and has since reportedly returned $620 million of the donation. In July Razak fired [JURIST report] Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail, who first announced the corruption investigation and replaced him with cabinet member Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. It is reported [Reuters report] that the lawsuit brought by the former premier will not have any immediate impact as proceedings will not be begin for months.

Razak's corruption allegations have caused controversy over the past several months. In July two major opposition parties in Malaysia called for an emergency [JURIST report] sitting of parliament in order to discuss the future of the country's prime minister. A police report has also been lodged against Razak by many opposition members, including representatives [Reuters report] of political parties. In 2006 Razak, who has served as the country's prime minister since 2009, was accused [BBC report] of being connected to the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, after her remains were found in October of that year in Kuala Lumpur. Razak, who was deputy prime minister at the time, denied having any connections to the murder or even knowing the model.

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