1MDB: DoJ civil suit without proof

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 17 Jun 2017

PETALING JAYA: 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has not been contacted by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in regard to the civil lawsuit against the sovereign fund.

“1MDB is not a party to the civil lawsuit nor has it been contacted by the DoJ in relation to this matter,” the company said in a statement yesterday.

The company also noted that DoJ’s civil lawsuit does not contain any appendices with documentary proof or witness statements to support the allegations.

“As previously stated, 1MDB will fully cooperate with any foreign lawful authority, subject to international protocols governing such matters and the advice of the relevant domestic lawful authorities,” it said.

The DoJ on Thursday moved to seize US$540mil (RM2.3bil) of assets allegedly belonging to 1MDB.

This time last year, US prosecutors filed civil asset-forfeiture suits against more than US$1bil (RM4.27bil) worth of artworks, real estate and other assets owned by several individuals.

The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) here expressed its frustration at not being informed by the DoJ of its latest civil lawsuits against 1MDB that appears to be “a repeat of last year’s suit”.

The AGC reaffirmed that there was no evidence of misappropriation of 1MDB funds, nor have there been any criminal charges against anyone over the matter.

“1MDB is a Malaysian company and has been the subject of multiple investigations within Malaysia, including by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Auditor-General and the bi-partisan Public Accounts Committee.

“After review, we found that no crime was committed,” said Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali in a statement.

Mohamed Apandi added that there was an “ongoing investigation” being conducted by the police concerning 1MDB.

“We would like to express strong concerns at the insinuations that have been made against the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) of criminal wrongdoing.

“At no point in the civil claims is the Prime Minister named as a defendant or has been alleged to have committed any criminal wrongdoing,” he said.

The AGC said that to date, it has yet to receive any request from DoJ for any information or evidence regarding the case, but would welcome such a request in line with its commitment to international cooperation and the fight against money laundering.

Datuk Seri Tengku Sarifuddin Tengku Ahmad, press secretary to Najib, noted the “unnecessary and gratuitous” naming of certain matters and individuals that are only relevant to “domestic political manipulation and interference”.

He also expressed worry that DoJ has again failed to seek cooperation from the Malaysian Government or 1MDB.

“This suggests a motivation that goes beyond the objective of seizing assets,” he said in a statement.

He quoted DoJ’s own press release, which states that: “A civil forfeiture complaint is merely an allegation that money or property was involved in or represents the proceeds of a crime. These allegations are not proven until a court awards judgment in favour of the United States.”

“The judicial process is not served by headline-seeking,” said Tengku Sarifuddin.

He said Malaysia stands firm in its support of transparency and good governance.

“That includes ensuring accusations have a basis in fact, rather than smears briefed by political opponents.

“We are confident that justice will take its course and Malaysia will continue to cooperate with all willing international agencies.

“As the Prime Minister has always maintained, if any wrongdoing is proven, the law will be enforced without exception,” he said.

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