Finland’s knife attack suspect to appear in court, may be via video link

People held a minute’s silence in front of flowers and candles laid at a makeshift memorial at the Turku Market Square in Turku, Finland, on August 20, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 21 August 2017
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Finland’s knife attack suspect to appear in court, may be via video link

HELSINKI: An 18-year-old Moroccan asylum seeker will appear in court on Tuesday over a knife attack in the city of Turku that killed two women and wounded eight people in what police suspect is Finland’s first terrorism-related assault.
The court on Monday named the suspect as Abderrahman Mechkah. Police said he may appear via video link from hospital after he was shot in the leg and arrested on Friday. Police said the suspect appeared to have targeted women.
The crimes are being treated as murder and attempted murder with terrorist intent, the court said. Police have requested that Mechkah be detained during preliminary investigations.
Detective Inspector Crista Granroth from the National Bureau of Investigation said police would ask the court to rule on the suspect’s detention in a hearing scheduled for 0800 GMT.
“We are prepared to arrange it via a video connection but that is up to his condition which will be determined by hospital personnel,” Granroth said.
Police earlier said the role of four other Moroccan men, detained over possible links to the Turku attack, was yet to be fully established.
No group has claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack, though police are investigating possible links to Thursday’s van attack by suspected Islamist militants in the Spanish city of Barcelona where 13 people were killed.


Malaysia detains Najib ex-aide in first arrest over 1MDB scandal

Updated 31 min 39 sec ago
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Malaysia detains Najib ex-aide in first arrest over 1MDB scandal

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian authorities have made the first arrest in a renewed probe into the multibillion-dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB, remanding a former aide of ousted prime minister Najib Razak to assist in investigations, Bernama news reported on Monday.
Malaysia’s new government led by the 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad reopened investigations into billions of dollars allegedly siphoned out of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) after Najib’s administration lost a general election in May, fueled by anger over the scandal and rising living costs.
On Monday, a magistrate’s court granted an application by anti-graft officials to remand Najib’s former aide for a week to assist in their investigations into 1MDB, according to a report by national newswire Bernama.
The 42-year-old aide, described in the report as having worked for Najib since 2009, was arrested on Sunday night after giving a statement at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) headquarters in the administrative capital of Putrajaya.
Earlier this month, Malaysia’s new attorney general said his office was studying possible criminal and civil action in the 1MDB case, after receiving investigation papers on the state fund from the anti-graft agency.
Former prime minister Najib, who founded 1MDB, is the subject of a money laundering probe. Najib has consistently denied wrongdoing.
Najib, in some of his most extensive comments yet on the 1MDB scandal, told Reuters last week that he did not know if hundreds of millions of dollars that moved through his personal account was from 1MDB, and if money from the fund was eventually laundered to acquire assets globally, including yachts, paintings, gems and prime real estate.
Transactions involving 1MDB are being investigated in half a dozen countries, including the United States, where it has become the biggest case pursued by the Department of Justice under its anti-kleptocracy program.
The US Department of Justice has alleged in lawsuits that more than $4.5 billion from 1MDB was laundered through a complex web of transactions and shell companies, of which $681 million ended in Najib’s bank account. Najib says the money in his account was donations from Saudi Arabia, most of which he returned.
According to the US justice department, assets purchased using 1MDB money include a Picasso painting, luxury real estate in South California and New York, shares in a Hollywood production company and a $265 million yacht, and more than $200 million worth of jewelry — including a 22-carat pink diamond pendant and necklace.