The key to unravelling 1MDB is Jho Low

Amanah leader writes of how direct legal action against Malaysian businessman by US and Singapore authorities could unravel scandal linked to 1MDB.

Dzulkefly Ahmad, Free Malaysia Today

Granted, the third complaint of the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) filed on June 5, no matter how damning to Prime Minister Najib Razak, has only fortified his resolve and that of his party, with the Barisan Nasional coalition ostensibly standing firm behind him.

While that could be extremely intriguing to many, especially to the global community, that will be the way it will be until a “breakthrough of sorts” is to befall Low Taek Jho (Jho Low).

Never mind that the first complaint of the DoJ had brought to light in compelling substance and depth, that the US$681 million transferred to MO1’s private account in two separate transfers were from the Tanore account (Tanore Finance Corporation).

Never mind that Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali (Jan 26, 2016) had announced to the world that the US$681 million (the “famous RM2.6 billion”) was a donation from “the Saudi royal family without any consideration”. He then declared Najib innocent of any wrongdoing.

Never mind that the Auditor-General’s Report to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has been officially sealed from public scrutiny, using the draconian legislation of the Official Secrets Act (OSA).

Never mind that the third DoJ complaint has finally shed light on the much hyped US$620 million “returned donation” to the “Saudi prince”.

Never mind, that the 251-page lawsuit filed in California by the DoJ now claims that US$200 million (RM855.3 million) siphoned from the “returned money” was used, inter alia, to buy gems for Jho Low and associates.

So yes, all the pathetic and mind-boggling responses of the AG would dramatically change once Jho Low and his international conspirators are put in the dock.

Predictably, the Cabinet members who were frantically defending the indefensible, resorted to paraphrasing the AG’s Chambers, that the DoJ merely rehashed the earlier insinuations, “without proof or evidence of misappropriation”. But what evidence and proof do they want?

As basic and as elementary as it is, the AGC especially the AG should be conversant that in “pleading” or making a “claim” and “complaint”, one only requires to produce the “facts” and not the “evidence”.

The “evidence” would be produced in the course of the trial and the legal proceedings.

You don’t plead with the evidence in a summons, only the facts. If you plead the evidence in the summons, it will be struck off, anyway.

But again, you don’t plead the facts unless you have the evidence in the first place. That is presupposed or presumed.

Hence, this ignorance is deplorably baffling, or is it a case of deliberately misleading the not-so-discerning public?

The DoJ and the FBI are now armed to the teeth, especially after the Patriot Act was put in place in the US, after the tragic events of Sept 11, 2001, that is, to prevent money laundering activities..

If the media is to be believed (Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, March 22, 2017) both the US and the Singapore authorities are planning to file criminal charges soon. It is separate from the on-going civil proceedings. The ultimate reckoning is nigh.

On record, Jho Low has told news organisations that he was “the victim of political infighting in Malaysia” and was only “an informal adviser” to 1MDB.

The worst nightmare ever would be if Jho Low decides to save his skin and claims that he “was only acting under instructions and on advice from someone….”

Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad is Parti Amanah Negara strategy director.