1MDB: NST article asks if US is taking easy way out


Questioning the motivation of the US Department of Justice, it reminds the US that those named in the case are innocent until proven guilty.

(FMT) – The press conference to announce the filing of a civil case to seize assets allegedly related to 1MDB in the US seems overdone, according to a comment piece in the New Straits Times Online today.

Questioning the motivation of the US Department of Justice, the comment piece asks if the DoJ is “acting on misinformation fed by some bloggers or detractors of the Malaysian Government?”

It also suggests that the reason the DoJ is taking the civil route instead of taking criminal action is perhaps because “the burden of proof is less onerous via the civil route”.

It says the press conference by the US Attorney-General “sounded unusually political”. “Wheeling out five senior US officials for the PC beamed worldwide over a civil case – not even crime or terrorism-related, where no courts have yet said anyone is proven guilty, and telling the world about how to conduct financial affairs, looked a bit overdone.”

The comment piece charges that: “Basically, the US is pouring a bucket of allegations over the defendants, and telling them they have to prove it is wrong or else they lose the assets which are under US jurisdiction. After months of intense probe, could this be an easy way out for the DoJ.”

Saying the DoJ has told the world that the assets it wants to seize belong to 1MDB, it asks “Is this the case?”

It says the huge sums and money movements mentioned by the DoJ refer to operations in the Middle East which were never under the control of 1MDB or Malaysia.

It ends by saying: “The US Government should remember that individuals and companies are innocent unless proven guilty.”