BNSC: Freezing of DoJ civil suits shows lack of evidence

(The Star) – The US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) suspension of its civil suits against 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) shows there is a lack of evidence of wrongdoing by the state investment fund, says the Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications team.

“Civil suits related to this case which started a year ago, which has essentially gone nowhere without sufficient evidence, are now frozen,” said its deputy director Datuk Eric See-To in a statement on Friday.

He added that the civil action against 1MDB, without sufficient evidence, signalled the political motivation of individuals from the previous US administration.

He stressed that it was important to note that 1MDB “is not a party to the DoJ’s civil suits.”

“As far as 1MDB is concerned, all its funds have been accounted for, in addition to the Malaysia Attorney-General’s statements after the DoJ filings that there has been no evidence of any misappropriation of funds,” he said.

He added that individuals from DoJ had asked for a indefinite suspension of the proceedings of the civil suit, which is unusual as there is usually a time limit to such requests.

“This could pave the way for constructive discussions, given the recent successful visit of the Trump Administration to Malaysia,” he said, in an apparent reference to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit earlier this week, part of his tour of South-East Asia.

See-To said a key point to note was the successful settlement between 1MDB and International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), which he said proved that there was no money misappropriated.

“The successful resolution (to repay IPIC) will also mean that 1MDB has completed the final step in its rationalisation exercise.

“I am pleased to read 1MDB’s statement today that it has and is continuing to monetise the fund units.

“This allowed 1MDB to pay US$350 mil (RM1.5bil) to IPIC as part of the settlement,” he added.

In a statement on Friday, 1MDB said the payment of US$350mil was pursuant to the amendment dated Aug 8, 2017 to the settlement deed with Minister of Finance (Incorporated) Malaysia and IPIC.