New allegations on 1MDB scandal: More clarity still needed


Story behind the story: Wright and his ‘Billion Dollar Whale’ co-author Hope have published new allegations on 1MDB but the anonymity of their sources could compromise their credibility.

Nothing should be assumed too easily about even an established scandal like 1MDB, certainly not guilt or culpability, if sound investigations and public confidence are not to be prejudiced.


JUST when everyone seemed inured to shocking details about 1MDB, Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporters appeared to have come up with more.

Investigative reporters Tom Wright and Bradley Hope, who covered 1MDB issues before, made additional claims last Monday that would be shocking if proven true.

They say that upon the initiative of Malaysian authorities, China offered to bail out 1MDB’s debts or losses in exchange for Malaysia’s support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects.

These projects were further said to have come at inflated costs, were acknowledged as unprofitable, and lacked transparency in their implications.

Wright and Hope say their information came from the minutes of “secret meetings” between Malaysian and Chinese officials and the personal testimony of some Malaysian officials past and present.

The authors could have been more transparent about their sources and on the content of their revelations, but apparently not.

Countries do sometimes engage in such intrigue, but nonetheless it is always easier to allege than to verify. Serious allegations such as these require equally serious substantiation.

The gist of the claims had been troubling thoughtful Malaysians, yet few expected it to take such form. Not without reason, doubts linger about the details and accuracy of these claims among all parties.

Even when current government officials could have made political capital by weighing in, making the former government’s alleged actions seem nastier, they refrained from it.

Formal meetings between government officials of two countries are routinely confidential and therefore “secret”, so there is nothing particularly sinister about their unreported nature.

There is also doubt about the minutes of meetings containing compromising information. Some meetings were said to be in China where Malaysian officials visited, yet the hosts freely permitted the visitors to go home with the recorded minutes of potentially explosive discussions.

The WSJ’s story has present and former Malaysian officials informing it about a supposedly secretive pact between Malaysia and China, yet senior Malaysian officials both past and present know nothing about it. Both sets of Malaysian officials are genuinely concerned and seriously want to know. Yet it is said that some Malaysian officials already knew, had known for more than half a year since last May, and who preferred to tell all to the WSJ only now rather than to their colleagues or the media earlier.

The media at the time also did not know, neither Malaysiakini, Sarawak Report, nor any other that was actively covering the issues, despite a freer news environment after last May’s election that encouraged whistleblowing and exposés.

For the kinds of sources said to have been used for the WSJ story – minutes of several meetings, and the testimonies of officials – the substantiation has been rather lean.

In its January 7 report of just 1,703 words, only two dates (June 28 and September 22, 2016) have been mentioned for the meetings. Two Chinese officials had been named at the meetings but not any Malaysian.

Xiao Yaqing, Chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, is quoted as stressing the importance of one particular meeting but nothing else.

Sun Lijun, “head of China’s domestic security force,” is cited as mentioning his agency’s capacity in conducting surveillance on parties inimical to Malaysia’s previous government, but nothing about what Malaysia is supposed to do in return.

Each of the two named persons had only part of a story to tell, with nothing to substantiate the larger claims made by the WSJ’s reporters. There is nothing definitive like a “smoking gun” to back those claims.

No Malaysian official at any of the meetings has been named or quoted, not even in reported speech. For many observers that seems odd, particularly where deals were supposedly agreed between two sides.

Malaysia is also supposed to have agreed to BRI projects only when China offered to bail out 1MDB. That presumption seems somewhat stilted.

Later in the story, former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is said in reported speech to have voiced support for “China’s position in the South China Sea during a regional summit in Laos.”

Najib’s Government may have been quiet on China’s sweeping maritime territorial claims, it was certainly less vocal than Vietnam or the Philippines on the dispute, but nowhere can it be said that it supported China’s position in the South China Sea.

And an Asean summit would have been the last place such a thing could have happened, even if it ever did. The WSJ story also claims that China had offered Malaysia its influence in stopping US investigations into 1MDB and Malaysian leaders at the time.

Given the highly competitive China-US relationship, particularly in third countries, what possible “influence” could China really have on the US in stopping investigations into allegedly shady deals involving China?

For many observers, the US would have had every incentive to proceed with such investigations, the more so when China appeared to be apprehensive about them.

It would be utterly foolish for any Chinese official to think there is such influence, and totally naïve for any Malaysian official to believe it. The same seems to apply to readers of the WSJ story.

The story behind the story is that the documents such as the minutes of meetings had been discovered in official files left behind by the previous Government after it had vacated official premises following its election defeat.

Again, many would doubt that the ousted officials had taken all possibly incriminating material with them as they left, except for these highly revealing documents.

The new Pakatan Harapan leaders had also been slow in taking office, first with the delayed swearing-in ceremony of the new Prime Minister and then in the phased nature of ministerial appointments.

Yet despite these delays, it is said that the departing Barisan Nasional leaders still did not retrieve the documents that could be used against them.

The WSJ sources rest on the what (documented minutes) and even more on the who (Malaysian officials who provided the minutes, and those who testified to it).

All of these officials are persons unknown or unnamed. Anonymity sometimes accords legitimate protection, but not now when it only compromises their credibility.

When serious allegations are levelled against one party or another, in this case against both Chinese and former Malaysian officials, some vested political interests of someone somewhere could be served.

It has also been implied that other “secret talks” had led to Malaysia’s readiness for Chinese naval vessels to dock in Malaysian ports.

But to a non-aligned country, the docking of vessels from friendly nations for supplies and refuelling should not be an issue – certainly not an issue requiring the seal of approval from secret negotiations.

Sarawak Report, which initially gave 1MDB information to several newspapers including WSJ, has since complained about some of its methods.

The WSJ has done very good work on 1MDB investigations and similar stories before, and it will most certainly do so again.

Najib and Jho Low have meanwhile rejected the latest WSJ story as expected, but others also have their doubts.

To get to the truth behind hazy intrigues, both clarity and credibility are essential at every stage. That has yet to happen consistently with 1MDB coverage.

Behind The Headlines by Bunn Nagara The Star

Bunn Nagara is a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia.

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South Korean Christian-based cult leaders pastor Lee jailed for raping followers


South Korean Pastor Lee Jaerock was convicted of the multiple rape of eight
female followers — some of whom believed he was God. — AFP
  • Religious devotion is widespread in technologically advanced South Korea
  • South Korea has proven fertile ground for religious groups with
    strong, unambiguous ideologies that offered comfort and salvation

A South Korean cult leader was convicted Thursday of the multiple rape of eight female followers — some of whom believed he was God — and jailed for 15 years.

Pastor Lee Jaerock’s victims were “unable to resist as they were subject to the accused’s absolute religious authority”, judge Chung Moon-sung told the Seoul Central District Court.

Religious devotion is widespread in technologically advanced South Korea, with 44 percent of people identifying themselves as believers.

Most belong to mainstream churches, which can accumulate wealth and influence with tens of thousands of followers donating as much as 10 percent of their income.

But fringe groups are also widespread — experts say around 60 people in the country claim to be divine — and some have been implicated in fraud, brainwashing, coercion, and other behaviour associated with cults worldwide.

Lee set up the Manmin Central Church in Guro, once a poor area of Seoul, with just 12 followers in 1982. It has now grown to 130,000 members, with a spotlight-filled auditorium, sprawling headquarters, and a website replete with claims of miracle cures.

But three of Lee’s followers went public earlier this year, as South Korea was swept with a wave of #MeToo accusations, describing how he had summoned each of them to an apartment and raped them.

South Korean Pastor Lee Jae-rock arrives at the Seoul Central District Court to attend his trial on Thursday. | AFP-JIJI

“I was unable to turn him down,” one of them told South Korean television.

“He was more than a king. He was God,” added the woman, who had been a church member since childhood.

Lee told another that she was now in Heaven, and to strip as Adam and Eve went naked in the Garden of Eden. “I cried as I hated to do it,” she told JTBC television.

Eight women laid criminal complaints, and the court found Lee raped and molested them “tens of times” over a long period.

“Through his sermons the accused has indirectly or directly suggested he is the holy spirit, deifying himself,” the judge said.

The victims believed him to be “a divine being who wields divine power”, he added.

Lee, who denied the charges, stood with his eyes closed as the judgement was read, showing no emotion, while around 100 followers filled the courtroom to overflowing, some of them sighing quietly.

The 75-year-old’s lawyers had accused the women of lying to seek vengeance after being excommunicated for breaching church rules.

– Second Coming –

South Korea has proven fertile ground for religious groups with strong, unambiguous ideologies that offered comfort and salvation that appealed strongly during times of deep uncertainty.

More recent versions have claimed a unique knowledge of the path to material and spiritual prosperity — a message that resonates in a highly competitive and status-focused society.

According to a 2015 government survey, 28 percent of South Koreans say they belong to Christian churches, with another 16 percent describing themselves as Buddhist.

But according to Park Hyung-tak, head of the Korea Christian Heresy Research Institute, around two million people are followers of cults.

“There are some 60 Christian-based cult leaders in this country who claim to be the second coming of Jesus Christ, or God Himself,” he told AFP.

AFP/File / MENAHEM KAHANA

“Many cults point to megachurches mired in corruption and other scandals in order to highlight their own presumed purity and attract believers,” he added.

On his own website, Lee says that God has “anointed me with His power” but the Manmin Central Church has been condemned as heretical by mainstream Christian organisations, partly because of its claims to miracle healing.

In one example on the church website, Barbara Vollath, a 49-year-old German, said he was born deaf but her bone cancer was cured and she gained hearing in both ears after Lee’s daughter and heiress apparent Lee Soojin prayed for her with a handkerchief he had blessed.

South Korean cults can have deadly consequences: in 1987, 32 members of an apocalyptic group called Odaeyang, were found dead at their headquarters in an apparent murder-suicide pact, including its leader, who was under police investigation for embezzlement.

And they can influence the highest reaches of power.

Choi Soon-Sil, the woman at the centre of the corruption scandal that brought down her close friend president Park Geun-Hye, is the daughter of late religious leader Choi Tae-min.

The elder Choi became Park’s spiritual mentor after establishing his own church, Yeongsegyo (“Spiritual Life”), combining tenets of Buddhism, Christianity and shamanism.

Source: AFP

On a mission from God: South Korea’s many cults

The jailing of a South Korean religious leader on Thursday for the rape of multiple followers is the latest example of religious cults in the country.

The world’s 11th-largest economy is technologically advanced but has a history of cult organisations and charismatic religious leaders, some of whom have amassed enormous wealth and influence.

Here are some groups that have previously attracted controversy or had brushes with the law.
Pastor Lee Jaerock, a South Korean cult leader was convicted Thursday of the multiple rape of eight female followers. Here are other South Korean cult groups that have made headlines
+4

 Pastor Lee Jaerock, a South Korean cult leader was convicted Thursday of the multiple rape of eight female followers. Here are other South Korean cult groups that have made headlines

Pastor Lee Jaerock, a South Korean cult leader was convicted Thursday of the multiple rape of eight female followers. Here are other South Korean cult groups that have made headlines

The World Mission Society Church of God predicted the end of the world would come on December 31, 1999.

However, being wrong has been no barrier to its fortunes, and an anti-cult group estimates that it has more than 200,000 followers, although it claims more than two million.

Its founder Ahn Sang-hong, who died in 1985, is worshipped as the Heavenly Father, who it says will come for the salvation of 144,000 souls — the number appears in a biblical prophecy.

Ahn’s wife Jang Gil-ja is regarded as the Heavenly Mother. Its aggressive evangelical activities in south east Asian countries sparked controversy.

Shincheonji, or the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony, suggests that its founder Lee Man-hee has donned the mantle of Jesus Christ and will take 144,000 people with him to Heaven, body and soul, on the Day of Judgement.

But its adherents have long surpassed that number, and critics say they have to engage in endless loyalty competitions to earn credits to be included among the saved, sacrificing their everyday lives and leading to serious family disputes.

Shincheonji ‘is the nation of God, created by Him to fulfil what is in heaven on this earth in today´s time’, it says on its homepage, adding that Lee ‘is creating God´s kingdom of heaven here on earth, exactly as he witnessed it in heaven’.

The female leader of a doomsday cult and three of her acolytes were arrested this year for allegedly holding some 400 followers captive in Fiji and subjecting them to violence and barbaric rituals.

Victims were hit hundreds of times in ceremonies known as ‘threshing floors’, defectors told South Korean media.

Shin Ok-ju, founder of the Grace Road Church, has gone on trial on charges of violence, child abuse, exploitation and incarceration, among others.

One of South the largest and best-known cults is Providence or Jesus Morning Star, also known by the acronym JMS — which matches the initials of its founder Jung Myung Seok.

He set it up in 1980 as a breakaway from the Unification Church, also known as the Moonies.

Jung was released from prison earlier this year after serving a 10-year sentence for the rape and sexual assault of four female followers.

He told them to have sex with him to purge themselves of sin.

Guwonpa, or ‘Salvation Sect‘, came to national attention when the Sewol ferry — whose operating company was run by its leader Yoo Byung-eun and his family — sank in 2014 with the loss of more than 300 lives, most of them children.

On the run from charges of corruption and negligence, Yoo’s body was found in a field, so badly decomposed that authorities were unable to determine the precise cause of death.

In 1987, 32 members of an apocalyptic cult called Odaeyang, meaning ‘five oceans’, were found dead at their headquarters in the southern city of Yongin in an apparent murder-suicide pact.

Among them was the cult’s leader Park Soon-Ja, who had been under pressure from her lenders over $17 million of debts and was under police investigation for embezzlement.

Police said Park’s two sons and a cult official strangled her and 28 others before killing themselves.

Related:

 

Cult leader jailed over rapes – Asean Plus | The Star Online

 

South Korean cult leader jailed for raping followers | The Japan

Times

 

Cult leader jailed in South Korea for raping eight female followers …

 

South Korean megachurch pastor sentenced to 15 years for raping …

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Money for favours: millions demanded and paid, bribes from property developers


The court cases involving Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, her former aide Datuk Rizal Mansor and ex-Cabinet member Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor centre upon allegations that millions have been demanded and paid in connection with projects pursued by companies. 

Meanwhile, a property developer is charged with bribing Tengku Adnan and the names of other companies and businessmen have appeared in the charges  – The Star

 see more ….

Rosmah slapped with graft charges

  • RM1.25bil solar hybrid project scandal!
Datin Seri Rosmah MansorvShe’s accused of soliciting bribes linked with projects to provide electricity to Sarawak

 

Ku Nan charged with receiving RM3mil bribes from developers – Nation

 

Facing the law: Tengku Adnan being led to the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur.
Facing the law: Tengku Adnan being led to the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur.

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Property developer Tan is a self-made businessman – Nation

Goldman Sachs staring at ‘significant penalties’, its system of accounting controls could be easily circumvented


Goldman Sachs (U.S. Financial Institution #1) – “knowingly and willfully conspired to circumvent and cause to be circumvented a system of international accounting controls at [Goldman Sachs], contrary to the FCPA [Foreign Corrupt Practices Act]

From left: Leissner, Ng and Low.

Goldman Sachs Group has acknowledged that it may receive “significant penalties” resulting from its deals with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

It also recognised that it had weaknesses in its compliance controls, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

In its third-quarter earnings filing to regulators, the investment management firm made citations about the indictment against its former employees for bribery and money laundering involving 1MDB, WSJ said.

Although it had acknowledged that it could face “significant penalties resulting from 1MDB”, Goldman Sachs said it was also cooperating with investigators, the report on Monday said.

According to WSJ, Goldman Sachs wrote in the filing that the indictment alleged the firm’s “system of internal accounting controls could be easily circumvented and that the firm’s business culture, particularly in South-East Asia, at times prioritised consummation of deals ahead of the proper operation of its compliance functions”.

The filing also mentioned that former Goldman Sachs bankers Tim Leissner and Roger Ng had “circumvented the firm’s internal accounting controls in part by intentionally deceiving control personnel and internal committees”.

Goldman Sachs is said to have received nearly RM2.5bil (US$600mil) in fees from the 1MDB deal.

Previously, the Financial Times reported that Goldman Sachs had helped 1MDB sell about RM27bil (US$6.5bil) of bonds between 2012 and 2013, two years before the authorities raided 1MDB’s offices to investigate allegations of massive fraud.

In a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, Goldman Sachs estimated that possible losses related to litigation proceedings could run as high as US$1.8bil (RM7.49bil) above its total reserves for such matters.

Previously, Goldman Sachs estimated litigation losses to be in excess of US$1.5bil (RM6.24 bil).

The Financial Times also reported that almost 30 people from Goldman Sachs had reviewed 1MDB deal’s approval process.

Meanwhile, in a 2016 indictment, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) alleged that most of the money raised with Goldman Sachs’ help was siphoned off by Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low.

The fugitive businessman together with bankers Ng and Leissner were indicted by the DoJ on Thursday for conspiring to launder money and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in relation to 1MDB.

Leissner pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money and to violating anti-bribery laws. He has been ordered to forfeit US$43.7mil (RM182.27mil) as a result of his crimes.

The criminal charges relating to 1MDB are the first by DoJ.

In 2016, the DOJ reportedly recovered over US$1bil (RM4.17bil being the current conversion rate) that was allegedly stolen, and sought the forfeiture of property, including a Bombardier private jet, Manhattan penthouse, Beverly Hills mansion and paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet.

Low is currently wanted in Malaysia and Singa­pore and other countries over investigations into 1MDB.

In a separate report by the Associated Press, PKR incoming president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that Low would be given a fair trial.

Anwar said he was “quite pleased” with developments in the case so far and that investigations in the United States, Malaysia and Singapore and other places were “progressing very well”.

The report also said Anwar had hinted that more former officials could be tried on corruption charges.

Malaysia has applied for a Red Notice to seek assistance from countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, India, Myanmar, China and Hong Kong via Interpol, and Taiwan via diplomatic channels to arrest Low. – The Star

Related posts:

Goldman Sachs CEO: I feel horrible ex-bankers broke law in 1MDB case

https://content.jwplatform.com/players/r3OlEq4I-d74adXtC.html

SINGAPORE (Reuters): Goldman Sachs chief executive officer David Solomon said on Wednesday he felt “horrible” that two former employees “blatantly broke the law” in their dealings with 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

US prosecutors filed criminal charges against the two former Goldman bankers and a Malaysian financier linked to the alleged theft of billions of dollars from the fund.

An investigation into where 1MDB’s money went became the largest carried out by the Department of Justice under its anti-kleptocracy programme, and the scandal was a major reason why Malaysian voters rejected Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, their prime minister for nearly a decade, in the May 9 general election.

“It is obviously very distressing to see two former Goldman Sachs employees went so blatantly around our policies and so blatantly broke the law,” Solomon said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Singapore.

“I feel horrible about the fact that people who worked at Goldman Sachs, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a partner or it’s an entry level employee, would go around our policies and break the law,” Solomon said.

US prosecutors announced last week that Tim Leissner, former partner for Goldman Sachs in Asia, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and agreed to forfeit US$43.7mil (RM181.8mil).

Roger Ng, the other charged former Goldman banker, was arrested in Malaysia and is expected to be extradited.

Reuters was not immediately able to contact Ng’s lawyer on Wednesday. His lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment after US prosecutors unveiled the charges last Thursday.

Goldman has also placed its former co-head of Asia investment banking, Andrea Vella, on leave over his role in the firm’s involvement with the case, pending a review of allegations, according to a person familiar with the decision.

The Wall Street bank said in a securities filing on Friday that it may also face penalties from dealings with 1MDB.

Asked if he could provide assurances that neither he, former CEO Lloyd Blankfein or any of the senior management team suspected illegality or compliance breaches in dealings with 1MDB, Solomon said:

“We take compliance and control in our firm extremely seriously, we always have…We are going to continue to cooperate with the authorities and there’s a process in place and that process will proceed.” According to prosecutors, the investment bank generated about US$600mil (RM2.49bil) in fees for its work with 1MDB, which included three bond offerings in 2012 and 2013 that raised US$6.5bil (RM23.29bil). Leissner, Ng and others received large bonuses in connection with that revenue.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng told Reuters in June that the government will be looking at the possibility of seeking claims from Goldman Sachs.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia will look into why Goldman was paid around US$600mil in fees, an amount that critics say exceeds normal levels.

Goldman has maintained that the outsized fees related to the additional risks it took on after it bought the un-rated bonds while it sought investors and, in the case of the 2013 deal which raised US$2.7bil (RM11.24bil), 1MDB wanted the funds in a hurry for a planned investment.

The new Malaysian government has barred Najib and his wife from leaving the country, and the former premier faces multiple charges of corruption, money laundering and abuse of power, though he has consistently denied any wrongdoing related to 1MDB.

In another interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday, Malaysia’s prime minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim said it would be “inexcusable” if Goldman Sachs was complicit in the scandal. – Reuters

Guan Eng: Goldman Sachs should return RM2.4bil fees – Nation

American investment bank Goldman Sachs should return the US$588mil (RM2.4bil) in it was paid for 1MDB-related matters, says Lim Guan Eng.

The Finance Minister said the fees were for raising bonds totalling US$6.5 billion (RM23.29 billion) for the Malaysian state investment firm back in 2012 and 2013.

“They must pay us back this money, not only the US$588mil but much more than that,” he said during a briefing on Budget 2019 at Hotel Equatorial Penang on Wednesday (Nov 7).

He said there were consequential losses due to the fees paid as it had cost Malaysia big losses.

This was in respond to Goldman Sachs chief executive officer David Solomon, who admitted that their employees had broken the law over 1MDB matters.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/11/08/guan-eng-goldman-sachs-should-return-rm2_4bil-fees/#wqMtc2F6O1jC35UJ.99

 

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Malaysia goes to UK court to challenge IPIC-1MDB consent award US$5.78bil (RM24.16bil)


Malaysia legally challenges a consent award granted in 2017 to Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), following a debt dispute with its state investment fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

Under the consent award, Malaysia is obliged to pay US$5.78 billion to IPIC and the bond trustee over five years. The country has paid US$1.46 billion so far.
Below is the full media statement from Malaysia’s attorney-general, Tommy Thomas, explaining why the country is filing the legal challenge.

CHALLENGING THE IPIC ARBITRATION CONSENT AWARD

1. The Government of Malaysia will apply to the Courts of England for an order to set aside a Consent Award recorded on 9th May 2017 by an Arbitration Tribunal sitting in London. We are confident that we have a strong case. The Arbitration, conducted under the Rules of the London Court of International Arbitration, was between International Petroleum Investment Company (“IPIC”) and Aabar Investments PJS, as Claimants, and 1MDB and our Minister of Finance Inc., as Respondents.

2. Under the Consent Award, Malaysia is obliged to pay US$5.78 billion to IPIC and the Bond Trustee over a five year period. So far, US$1.46 billion has been paid, leaving a balance of US$4.32 billion, with the next interest payment of US$50 million due on 11th November 2018. Similar interest payments are payable periodically until April 2022. The final bullet payments, representing principal and interest of US$1.8 billion each, are due and payable in May and October 2022.

3. The basis of Malaysia’s legal challenge in the High Court in London is that the Consent Award was procured by fraud or in a manner contrary to public policy. The Court application relates to the knowledge of IPIC and Aabar of the serious allegations made by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) against former Prime Minister and Finance Minister Najib Razak, who was also the moving spirit and ultimate decision maker in 1MDB. Such knowledge on their part was acquired, “inter alia”, no later than the time when the DOJ’s Press Conference was held by the Attorney General of the United States, Loretta Lynch, in July 2016 when she announced the filing by by DOJ of several civil suits for the freezing of assets purchased by fraudsters from stolen proceeds, and popularly described as the greatest kleptocracy in modern history.

4. The grave, detailed allegations in those DOJ court documents were given tremendous global publicity, particularly in the political and business media. They had certainly entered the global public domain by July 2016. Najib Razak is identified as “MO1” in the DOJ pleadings. Any reasonable reader reading these court documents would immediately become aware of his central role in defrauding 1MDB to the benefit of himself, his stepson and Jho Low.

5. In such circumstances, Malaysia takes the position that IPIC and Aabar were aware of the fraud of Najib Razak. He was principally responsible for 1MDB and Minister of Finance Inc. consenting to the Award. Every system of law would hold that he could not possibly have acted in the best interests of his country and his company. Indeed, he did not. Fraud is an established ground to challenge the consent award for public policy reasons.

6. We are pleased to report that the application will be filed today in the High Court in London. Malaysia will claim that as a result of the fraud, we are relieved from any obligation to pay the balance of the US$4.32 billion to IPIC or Aabar under the Consent Award, and additionally have a right to recover the US$1.46 billion already paid.

Tommy Thomas
Attorney General
30th October 2018
 

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Govt to appeal consent award – Nation | The Star Online

 

 

Malaysia to appeal for order to set aside RM24.16bil consent award in …

 

AG says Malaysia doesn’t have to pay US$4.32b to IPIC as 1MDB defrauded 

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Ex-PM Najib, his treasury sec-gen Irwan & spy boss Hasanah charged with CBT RM6.63bil


 

Video:

http://content.jwplatform.com/players/kjcF5B9i-dBiC3tzP.html

https://content.jwplatform.com/players/TvIDOltg-dBiC3tzP.html

Keys officials: Hasanah (left) and Irwan

 

UMNO Irwan Serigar Has More Than 7000 Young Girls He Spends …

Ex-PM and Irwan slapped with six counts of CBT

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has been brought to court several times but yesterday, he shared a dock at the Sessions Court with former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.

The two were jointly charged with six counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving funds totalling RM6.636bil that belongs to the government.

Najib, 65, was the first accused while Dr Mohd Irwan, 61, was named as the second accused.

According to the first two charge sheets, the two men were entrusted with dominion over RM1.2bil and RM655mil respectively, and committed CBT in respect of those sums.

The third charge alleges that Najib and Dr Mohd Irwan committed CBT relating to RM220mil in the government’s Federal Consolidated Fund. The amount was allocated for administration expenses for the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

The RM1.3bil at the centre of the fourth charge was in the same fund and classified as an allocation for subsidy and cash aids.

The fifth and sixth charges were for allegedly committing CBT in respect of 1.95 billion yuan (RM1.261bil) and RM2bil.

All the offences were allegedly committed at the Finance Ministry office in Putrajaya between Dec 21, 2016, and Dec 18, 2017.

The charges were framed under Section 409 of the Penal Code and each carries a jail term of between two and 20 years with whipping, if convicted.

Offenders are also liable to fines. Section 409 covers CBT by public servants and agents.

Najib and Dr Mohd Irwan pleaded not guilty, with both replying “Minta bicara (I claim trial)” after each charge was read out by the court interpreter.

Former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who was appointed by the Attorney General’s Chambers to lead the prosecution, suggested bail at RM3mil each.

Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah objected, saying that his client had already paid RM4.5mil bail accumulatively for his previous 32 charges, an amount which could be “highest in the history of Malaysia”.

“A bail’s only criterion is to ensure his attendance and nothing else. It cannot be punitive. It cannot be oppressive,” he said, adding that his client’s accounts and assets had also been frozen.

Dr Muhammad Shafee asked the court to make an order for Najib to utilise the RM4.5mil bail for his current case.

Datuk K. Kumaraendran, who represented Dr Mohd Irwan, said the prosecution itself did not object to bail, which showed that his client was not a flight risk, and suggested bail of RM500,000 for his client.

Sri Ram replied that the court should not allow the first accused to utilise his RM4.5mil bail for the case as the charges were new.

“The sum we asked for is not fixed on the totality of the sum involved,” he said.

Sri Ram added that the second accused was paid “excessively” during his tenure as the Treasury secretary-general.

“This is not a tale of a good Samaritan. He is the trustee of the highest order of money in this country. He stands before you accused of breaching that trust.

“Any other sum would not reflect the justice of the case,” Sri Ram said.

Sessions Court judge Azman Ahmad allowed bail at RM1mil in two sureties for each of the accused.

He also ordered Dr Mohd Irwan to surrender his passport. Najib had surrendered both his civilian and diplomatic passports in his earlier court case.

The court also allowed for the accused to pay RM500,000 yesterday and to pay the balance in 10 days. Both accused paid the bail.

The case is set for mention on Nov 29. – The Star by nurbaiti hamdanroyce tan

Ex-spy chief Hasanah claims trial to US$12mil CBT

https://content.jwplatform.com/players/5lsufbE9-dBiC3tzP.html

KUALA LUMPUR: Former spy chief Datuk Hasanah Ab Hamid has been charged with criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving US$12.1mil (RM50.3mil) belonging to the government at the Sessions Court here.

The former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) director-general claimed trial before Judge Azman Ahmad on Thursday (Oct 25).

Hasanah, 61, who was charged in her capacity as a director-general of a research division, was accused of committing CBT in the Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya between April 30 and May 9 this year.

The charge was made under Section 409 of the Penal Code, which provides a maximum 20 years’ jail and whipping, as well as a fine upon conviction.

Lead Prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram asked for a RM1mil bail.

Hasanah’s counsel Shaharudin Ali, however, asked for the sum to be set at RM300,000.

Judge Azman Ahmad later set bail at RM500,000 in two sureties pending mention on Nov 29. – The Star by maizatul nazlinaroyce tan

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(Updated) Najib, Irwan claim trial to 6 charges of CBT | New Straits Times …

 

Najib to face RM6bil CBT charge – Nation

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and a former key official of his government will be jointly charged with criminal breach of trust, said to involve more than RM6bil.

The former prime minister and former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah are expected to face six counts of allegedly committing CBT – all involving 1MDB.

The two are to be charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court over 1MDB’s dealings with Abu Dhabi’s wealth fund International Petro-leum Investment Company (IPIC).

Separately, another top official from the previous administration will also be charged in court.

Former spy agency chief Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid will also be charged with committing criminal breach of trust.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said it had received the go-ahead from the Attorney General’s Chambers to charge Najib, Dr Mohd Irwan and Hasanah with committing criminal breach of trust involving the government’s money.

With Dr Mohd Irwan being hauled to court, it will be the first time a former civil servant is being charged in connection with the sovereign wealth fund scandal.

As for Najib, the number of charges against him is now close to 40. He is already slapped with a total of 32 charges today involving corruption, criminal breach of trust and money laundering.

Sources with knowledge of the case confirmed the number of charges and that the amount of money involved in the 1MDB-IPIC scandal “runs into billions”.

Yesterday, both Najib and Dr Mohd Irwan were summoned by investigators. Both came separately at 1.55pm and 3.25pm respectively.

At 5pm, Najib left the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters despite earlier speculation that he would be held overnight.

On the previous occasions, prosecutors had held the former prime minister and brought him to court the next day.

While Najib was released after giving his statement, MACC confirmed that Dr Mohd Irwan was arrested at 3.35pm and was being held overnight. Dr Mohd Irwan had made several trips to the MACC regarding the 1MDB-IPIC case, the last being on Aug 10.

Graft investigators had probed both Najib and Dr Mohd Irwan on 1MDB’s dealings over settlement payment of US$1.2bil (RM5.04bil) made to IPIC in 2017.

As for Hasanah, the former director-general of Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation is being charged with criminal breach of trust involving money belonging to the government.

She is being held answerable to committing one count of criminal breach of trust by misappropriating funds worth US$12mil said to be meant for the 14th General Election.

Despite earlier talk that Hasanah would also be held, sources said she was asked to present herself in court today instead.

Hasanah was among nine people who were remanded in September over the misappropriation of the fund. – The Star by mazwin nik anis and joseph kaos jr

Spotlight on Najib’s key officials

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is to be hauled to court for a third time to face extra charges, but the spotlight will be on former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah and ex-spy boss Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid.

The two former top civil servants are expected to face a multitude of charges brought against them by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

All three will have to present themselves today at the MACC headquarters here where they will be held overnight before being taken to the Jalan Duta Courts Complex in the morning.

While it will be the third date in court for the former prime minister, the fresh development involves Irwan and Hasanah, two key officials of Najib.

Irwan is expected face charges in connection with the 1MDB scandal while Hasanah, who headed the Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO), is expected to be charged for alleged misappropriation of funds worth US$12mil (RM49mil).

Sources said Najib and Irwan will be charged in connection with 1MDB’s dealings with Abu Dhabi’s wealth fund, International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

However, it could not be confirmed if Najib – who is expected to be slapped with six more charges – and Irwan will be jointly or separately charged.

Najib is already facing 32 charges of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering.

Najib will first face the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Parliament this morning before heading to the MACC headquarters in the afternoon.

Sources familiar with the investigation said a statement would be recorded from Najib today. While they did not reveal the amount of the misappropriation involved in the six more charges expected to be slapped against him, one can expect the total to run into billions of ringgit.

“It is a lot of money involved here,” said an MACC source without elaborating.

Last week, Najib was called up twice by MACC to explain the payment of over US$1.2bil (RM5.04bil) made to IPIC by 1MDB in a settlement over a US$6.5bil (RM27.3bil) claim made by IPIC.

The settlement was triggered by 1MDB’s default on a bond payment due in 2016, which was guaranteed by IPIC in 2012 for the acquisition of two power plants.

It is understood that Najib, who was chairman of the 1MDB advisory board, would be held liable for his role in the debt settlement.

It is, however, not known how many charges Irwan and Hasanah, both aged 61, will be facing. Irwan had been called up by investigators several times to be queried on the debt settlement between 1MDB and the Abu Dhabi wealth fund. His last session was on Aug 10.

Irwan had even lodged a report with MACC over the controversy involving the “missing” RM18mil in Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds to determine if there were grounds for an investigation.

He later claimed that the allegation by the Pakatan Harapan government was baseless and that he lodged the report to enable the anti-graft body to investigate.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had claimed in Parliament that the Barisan Nasional administration had stolen a total of RM18bil in GST refunds.

As for Hasanah, prosecutors are expected to bring several charges against her, mostly with committing criminal breach of trust.

She was among nine persons who were arrested in connection with misappropriating funds meant for the 14th General Election.

Hasanah, seven other former MEIO officers and a businessman were arrested in late August.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Azam Baki was reported to have said that US$12mil (RM50.4mil) of government funds were allegedly misappropriated.

The cash was believed to have been brought in via air, possibly through the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Highly-placed sources in the anti-graft body had said that this needed to be looked into as it would be difficult to carry such a staggering amount of money undetected.

Malaysian law requires those bringing in US$10,000 (RM41,000) and above into the country to have it declared at the point of entry.

Investigators found out that the money was brought into the country in May.

Investigators also do not discount the possibility of the funds coming from 1MDB.

The MACC has already called several witnesses, including three foreigners, and at least 20 more witnesses will be tracked down to assist in the investigation, a source said.

MEIO was listed as the “research division” of the Prime Minister’s Department under the Barisan administration.

Hasanah had courted controversy after writing to US Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel, appealing to the United States administration to support Najib.- The Star by mazwin nik anis
Related:

US$3.5bil is the focale of 1MDB-IPIC dispute – Nation

Rosmah and sons to be questioned by police tomorrow – Nation 

UMNO President Zahid hit with 45 charges of CBT, money laundering and graft


KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has been slapped with 45 charges at the Sessions Court here under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act and the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act.

The Umno president faces 27 counts under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act, 10 counts for committing breach of trust under Section 409 of the Penal Code and 8 counts of receiving bribe under Section 16 (a)(b) of MACC Act 2009.

The 27 charges under Amla involve RM72,063,618.15 , while the 10 CBT charges involve RM20,833,132.99 and the eight charges of corruption RM21,250,000.

He pleaded not guilty to all 45 charges.

Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi set bail at RM2mil to be paid in two instalments on Friday (Oct 19)

The court ordered RM1mil to be paid on Friday (Oct 19) and the balance before or on Oct 26.

The mention date has been fixed on Dec 14.

On Thursday, investigators arrested the 65-year-old former deputy president at 3.15pm.

Dr Ahmad Zahid was investigated over allegations of misappropriation of funds belonging to Yayasan Akal Budi, of which he is the chairman.

He is said to have used RM800,000 of the foundation’s money to settle his credit card bills. – The Star

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