Police search scandal-tainted Malaysian ex-premier's home
Kuala Lumpur: Police conducted an extensive search of the home of Malaysia's scandal-tainted former premier on Thursday that his lawyer decried as "harassment", as the new government presses forward with probes into a massive graft scandal after seizing power in historic elections.
Police arriving in a dozen vehicles converged on the home of corruption-tainted Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur beginning late Wednesday, drawing crowds of journalists and onlookers.
A lawyer for Najib said officers were searching the home and a separate apartment in a "money-laundering" probe. The search at Najib's home continued into Thursday afternoon.
The new government headed by 92-year-old former premier Mahathir Mohamad, who secured a stunning election victory last week, has vowed to probe allegations that Najib oversaw the looting of a sovereign wealth fund.
But Najib's lawyer Harpal Singh Grewal said his client, 64, viewed the search as "harassment".
"The police just took some handbags and some clothes," Harpal said.
His mention of handbags prompted snickering on Malaysian social media.
Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor is ridiculed over her reported penchant for jet-set overseas shopping trips and vast collection of designer handbags, clothing and jewellery, all symbolic -- critics say -- of the ousted government's lack of concern for economically struggling citizens.
Harpal said the house contained only personal belongings, though he added that police also were attempting to open a safe, the key for which had been "lost".
"This is harassment. Whatever... is in the house is not commensurate with the allegations," Harpal said.
"(Najib) has told them: 'Tell me what you want. We will give.'" Harpal said the search left Najib "very tired and visibly upset". There was no indication that any arrests were planned.
Police officials confirmed the search to AFP but declined to give details. The police action adds to a sense of rising legal peril for Najib, who was barred from leaving the country just days after the election over allegations that he, his family, and cronies looted billions from state investment fund 1MDB.