Malicious, false allegations: lawyer denounces MACC’s probe into Goldman Sachs deal as baseless

Investigation centres on suspicions that his law firm received kickbacks from banking company, affecting settlement’s favorability for M’sia

(Scoop) – A lawyer representing Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has claimed that actions by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against him are an attempt to make him a “pariah”.

In a partnership note sighted by Scoop, the lawyer also confirmed that the anti-graft body is investigating the law firm, Rosli Dahlan Saravana (RDS), over corruption allegations involving the firm’s efforts to recover 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds from global financial firm Goldman Sachs.

“The investigation (by MACC) is based on an undisclosed report that the Goldman Sachs settlement was unfavourable to Malaysia because RDS had received kickbacks from Goldman Sachs,” the note stated.

“I told them (MACC) that this is a malicious and false allegation. I also said I had written to the new 1MDB task force chairman, Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, explaining the whole thing, and they could ask (Johari) for my letter.

“To me, it’s clear that this was just an excuse to victimise me, my partners, and my firm to make us pariahs.”

It is believed that RDS is acting for Muhyiddin in the Bersatu president’s defamation suit against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Meanwhile, two RDS senior partners had given their statement to the anti-graft authorities at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya for about four hours yesterday.

“MACC came (to RDS’ office) and wanted to search and interrogate our staff. I was not in then. When I got into the office, I told them they could not search a law office under Section 46 of the MACC Act 2009, regardless of their saying that they had brought their own warrant.

“We agreed that (Naban) and I would give our statements in the office, but they (MACC) later changed their minds and said we must go to their headquarters to present our statement and produce documents,” the note stated.

The legislation referenced states that notwithstanding any other written law, a judge of the high court may, on an application being made to him in relation to an investigation into any offence under the Act, order an advocate and solicitor to disclose available information relating to a property liable to seizure under the act.

It also states that legal representatives are not required to comply with the order to the extent that such compliance would disclose any privileged information or communication that came to his knowledge for the purpose of any pending proceedings.

Yesterday, it was reported that more than 10 officers from MACC raided RDS’ office in Publika, Solaris Dutamas.

It was said that the officers had demanded the right to obtain and seize certain documents belonging to the firm.

Besides that, the note mentioned that two police reports have been lodged over the past three years regarding accusations of the firm being involved in corruption, asserting that it is “impossible and preposterous” to suggest that RDS had manipulated Goldman Sachs negotiations.

The negotiations, the law firm claims, were supervised by the 1MDB task force headed by the finance minister and consisting of the attorney-general, the Bank Negara Malaysia governor, the Securities Commission chairman, the inspector-general of police, the National Anti-Financial Crime Centre, and the Global Infrastructure Anti-Corruption Centre.