Malaysia opposition leader arrested for corruption

Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto 51 after leaving her lawyer's room at the Magistrate's Court in Sepang outside Kuala Lumpur

Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto 51 after leaving her lawyer's room at the Magistrate's Court in Sepang outside Kuala Lumpur

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia-Malaysia charged a former deputy prime minister with breaking money-laundering and corruption laws as Mahathir Mohamad's government steps up investigations into graft allegations plaguing the former administration.

According to media, Ahmad Zahid was accused of using funds from his family-run charity foundation to pay off credit card bills for himself and his wife. He was freed on bail.

He was arrested on Thursday after arriving at the headquarters of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for another round of questioning, in a major blow to the once-mighty Malaysian political party that ruled the country for 61 years.

Coincidentally, Najib also made a return to MACC - the second time this week - said to answer questions on 1MDB's dealings with Abu Dhabi's state-owned International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC).

Mr Zahid's former boss, ex-prime minister Najib Razak, is facing 32 charges involving CBT, money laundering and abuse of power over hundreds of millions of dollars found in his bank account.

The MACC confirmed that Dr Ahmad Zahid was arrested at 3.15pm.

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Lokman, also a member of the UMNO Supreme Council, claimed that Dr Ahmad Zahid was detained because he refused to bow to pressure to dissolve UMNO.

His wife Datin Seri Hamidah Khamis and their children accompanied him to the MACC.

"His lawyers wanted to arrange for him to go home but he said no", she said.

"We wish to clarify that neither the company nor any of its directors has issued any payment to Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in relation to the supply of 12.5 million chips for the Malaysian passport", it added.

Charging Mr Zahid would also raise fears among other party leaders that they could be next, he said.

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