BN strategic communications director Abdul Rahman Dahlan has described the special task force investigating the RM2.6 billion deposits into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's personal bank accounts as "illegal".
"In the first place the task force was illegally constituted. They were not supposed to be investigating the prime minister or any individual for that matter.
"The original task force was set up to look at the overall policy of the banking system such as money laundering, the illicit flow of funds, the illegal use of money changers to move money in and out of the country, illegal money transactions involving terrorism and drug business and the loopholes in the system.
"That is why the attorney-general, Bank Negara, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police were there," he said in an interview with The Star Online .
Abdul Rahman said the attorney-general should not have gotten involved, in the interest of the separation of powers.
The special task force was immediately disbanded after attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail ( photo ) was abruptly removed from office and replaced with Mohamed Apandi Ali.
Despite the demise of the special task force, Abdul Rahman, who is also a federal minister, insisted that investigation could still go on.
"The police, MACC, and Bank Negara can conduct their own individual investigations without having that task force. That is not a problem.
"But the task force doesn’t have the mandate from the cabinet. There is no executive order from the cabinet to constitute that task force to investigate that particular issue," he was quoted saying.
'AG's removal over health'
Abdul Rahman also reiterated the official line that Abdul Gani was removed as attorney-general due to health reasons.
"The official response is that he was not well and on dialysis three times a week.
"Even in my ministry I can tell you there are noticeable delays in getting responses from the Attorney-General's Chambers," he was quoted saying.
Likewise, Abdul Rahman said the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which investigation into 1MDB have also been scuttled after Najib co-opted four of its members in the government, can resume its probe after the appointment of new members in October.
[Editor: Following the interview, the Star on Aug 17 clarified that Abdul Rahman has since clarified that he meant to use the word “improperly” instead "illegally" with respect to the seting up of the task force. ]