IGP to Jho Low: Don’t be afraid to return if you’re innocent
(The Star) – Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, need not fear to return to Malaysia if he is innocent, says Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador.
“If he is confident he is innocent, I am inviting him back so that he can defend himself,” the Inspector-General of Police told The Star on Tuesday (Nov 17).
The IGP was commenting on claims by the fugitive businessman that he had
borrowed funds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and was willing to return it in exchange of not being prosecuted.
“I can even arrange his (Low) meeting with the Attorney General (AG).
“I can assure him safe passage,” Abdul Hamid added.
Whether Low would be prosecuted or otherwise, the country’s top cop said such decision was not under his purview.
“He has to discuss with the AG if he really feels that he is innocent,” he said.
“Low is not only wanted by authorities in Malaysia but by authorities in the United States and Singapore as well,” Abdul Hamid said.
Al Jazeera reported that Low reached out to the previous Pakatan Harapan-led government to avoid charges over the 1MDB scandal.
The news network said that Low allegedly spoke to government representatives in a series of phone calls from May to November of 2018.
Audio clips of his phone conversations were featured in Al Jazeera’s two-part special investigation titled “Jho Low: Hunt For A Fugitive”.
Al Jazeera said it had privately verified the conversations, which were given to it exclusively.
However, it did not identify whom Low was speaking to from the Malaysian side.
“I want you to convey if possible to Mahathir (former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) that I really believe the change in government does present a real opportunity to resolve these 1MDB-related issues. I am committed to achieving that,” said Low in one of the clips.
He said that in return, he would give up all assets and that the monies would be used to repay 1MDB bonds.
Apart from Malaysia, Low is also wanted by the US Justice Department for criminal offences despite reaching a US$700mil civil suit settlement with them last year.
In the audio clips, Low is heard saying that he wanted the Malaysian government to help him deal with the United States, Singapore and Switzerland over charges he faces in those countries.
He also pinned the blame on former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, claiming that ultimately, he had no authority to make any decision over the sovereign wealth fund.