The AG rejected Jho Low’s offer of RM1.5 billion
(The Star) – Fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho’s attempt to reach a settlement with the Malaysian government over corruption charges against him was aborted as it allegedly could have serious “political repercussions”.
Former Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Apandi Ali facilitated meetings between Jho Low, as he’s known, and the government to discuss the repatriation of billions allegedly siphoned off by Jho Low from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) sovereign fund.
“The meetings, which at that material time looked positive, were aborted and called off by the AGC (Attorney General’s Chambers) suddenly for reasons best known to them,” Apandi said.
“I was informed by the AG that any attempt to settle with Jho Low will have political repercussions,” he said when asked whether he had sought an explanation for the meetings being stopped.
AG Tan Sri Idrus Harun said in a brief statement yesterday that all offers for a settlement from Jho Low’s representatives were rejected by the AGC.
“The AGC confirms that Jho Low, through his representatives, has made attempts to engage with the government of Malaysia on a settlement this year.
“In these attempts, Jho Low’s representatives met with agencies of the government of Malaysia, including the AGC,” he said.
The Edge reported that Jho Low, who is allegedly the mastermind behind the 1MDB scandal, had offered RM1.5bil to the government to settle the charges and that he was represented by Apandi in the negotiations with the government.
Apandi, however, said he was merely a facilitator for the international law firm that contacted him to arrange a meeting with the AGC.
“I was just a facilitator for Kobre & Kim,” he told The Star.
“I was approached by Kobre & Kim from Washington DC, seeking my assistance to arrange for a meeting with the AG of Malaysia at the end of May 2022.
“I arranged a series of meetings, whereby representatives from Kobre & Kim came to Malaysia,” said Apandi, who served as the AG from 2015 until June 2018.
The meeting held at the AGC was attended by Idrus, his officer and a senior officer from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
Asked whether Jho Low was willing to return the money, Apandi said, “It was so indicated through Kobre & Kim at the meetings”.
However, citing confidentiality, he declined to reveal the amount the businessman was looking to return to Malaysia.
On whether the attempt will be revisited, Apandi said he would not speculate.
Jho Low is also facing a US$3.78bil (RM16.8bil) suit filed against him by 1MDB and its four subsidiaries.
The Star has reached out to Idrus for further comments.