KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Malaysian former Prime Minister Najib Razak whose house just went through a marathon search on Thursday accused the police of harassment and disturbance.
The police, deploying more than a dozen of SUVs, sedans and police trucks, on Wednesday night raided several places in relation to Najib, including a private residence and two luxury condominium in Kuala Lumpur. Several personal items such as handbags, clothes and gifts were seized, reported the Malaysian state news agency Bernama on Thursday morning.
In a statement, Najib's lawyer Harpal Singh Grewal said police harassment continued for almost 18 hours though Najib indicated his will to cooperate fully.
"Nothing meaningful has come from the search and seizure of what would appear to be insignificant personal items," the statement said.
At one point, it said the police even tried to drill open a safe which "had been locked for two decades as the key had been misplaced."
Najib also complained about the timing, saying the operation on the eve of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan denied his family's right to properly conduct their religious obligations.
However, Mahathir Mohamad, the new prime minister who ordered a probe into Najib, at a press conference described the search as "police SOP (standard operation procedure)", saying they have good reasons to do so. But even some politicians in the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition raised some concerns.
Najib was accused by Mahathir of corruption in relation to 1MDB, the state development fund he created in 2009.
Since coming to power, Mahathir has removed the attorney general who cleared Najib of offence, replaced head of the anti-corruption head and declassified an 1MDB financial report. He also set up a team to reopen the investigation called off by Najib.
There are no formal charges filed against Najib but Mahathir has banned Najib, his wife and a number of former government officials from leaving the country.