Malaysia's attorney general to go on leave pending probe

Malaysia's attorney general to go on leave pending probe
Former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, May 14, 2018. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had taken over as United Malays National Organization (UMNO) president after Najib Razak told a news conference on Saturday that he was stepping down as president of the UMNO and as chairman of the National Front coalition. (AP Photo/Sadiq Asyraf)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — New Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad says the attorney general has been told to go on leave pending an investigation of his role in allegedly covering up a massive corruption scandal involving ousted leader Najib Razak.

The 1MDB state fund set up by Najib is being investigated in the United States and other countries. Anger over the scandal helped Mahathir’s alliance score a stunning election victory last week, ending the 60-year rule of Najib’s coalition.

U.S. investigators say Najib’s associates stole and laundered .5 billion from the fund, some of which landed in Najib’s bank account. Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali cleared Najib of any wrongdoing in 2016.

Mahathir, who earlier slammed Apandi’s credibility, said Monday that the country’s solicitor-general will take over Apandi’s job while he goes on leave.