Jasa man says no proof wife of MO1 received jewellery

(FMT) – A director of the government’s Special Affairs Department (Jasa) says there is no proof that the wife of Malaysian Official 1 (MO1) received, or is in possession of, jewellery as alleged by the United States’ Department of Justice (DoJ).

This comes in the wake of calls for the wife of MO1 to follow the example of supermodel Miranda Kerr and return jewellery allegedly purchased with stolen 1MDB funds to the DoJ.

Jasa – often criticised as Putrajaya’s propaganda arm – previously published a book containing the government’s responses to the 1MDB issue.

In a Facebook post, Tun Faisal Ismail Aziz, the director of Jasa’s strategic communications division, said there was no evidence that the jewellery purchased had been bought with money stolen from 1MDB or from proceeds of money laundering.

He also noted that 1MDB had repeatedly said that none of its money had been stolen.

“The allegation that the wife of MO1 accepted jewellery is only based on a statement in the complainant’s report.

“There is no evidence it was bought with 1MDB funds which are allegedly stolen and there is no evidence that the jewellery was given to the wife of MO1 and there is no evidence that the wife of MO1 is in possession of the jewellery.”

He said this was unlike the case of Kerr, who clearly accepted the gifts from controversial businessman Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) and who was named in the DoJ’s suits to recover assets allegedly bought with 1MDB funds.

Tun Faisal also said the jewellery allegedly bought for the wife of MO1 were not listed as assets the DoJ was seeking to recover, and that this showed the DoJ was not sure of the veracity of the complainant’s story that the jewellery had been given to the wife of MO1.

He added that based on the DoJ’s suits, the funds used to purchase the jewellery were not controlled or managed by 1MDB, but were funds owned or managed by those with interests and links to Aabar and the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

Tun Faisal also said the DoJ had to prove its case and obtain a court order before taking possession of any assets listed in it’s civil suits.

He added that following the process of the law, Kerr should keep the jewellery or return them to Jho Low until the DoJ obtained a court order to recover the jewellery.

Yesterday, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang asked if the wife of MO1 would follow Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Kerr in handing over their multi-million dollar 1MDB-linked gifts from Jho Low, to the DoJ.

Earlier this month, DiCaprio turned over an Oscar won by Marlon Brando to US investigators probing alleged money laundering in connection with 1MDB.

This came after news on June 15 that the DoJ was seeking to recover US$540 million (RM2.3 billion) in assets, including art works, jewellery and film rights, that it says were purchased with funds misappropriated from 1MDB.

This brings the total sought by the DoJ to US$1.8 billion.

The items cited in the new suit as subject to seizure include a Park Avenue condominium, diamond jewellery, shares of fitness club operator Fly Wheel Sports Inc, a painting by Pablo Picasso titled “Nature Morte au Crane de Taureau” and rights to the 2014 film “Dumb and Dumber To”.

The DoJ suit added that Jho Low had purchased a 22-carat pink diamond necklace worth US$27.3 million for the “wife of MO1,” using the same source of funds.