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Dr M: Why should DoJ inform AG about 1MDB-related action?

 | June 19, 2017

PPBM chairman says Apandi Ali is not known for cooperating on the 1MDB issue with his foreign counterparts, noting the Swiss experience.

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PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad has taken Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali to task for apparently bemoaning the US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) failure to contact his office on investigations over alleged misappropriation of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds.

The former prime minister said there was no agreement that the US authority needed to inform Apandi on crimes committed in the US or elsewhere.

“Why the AG thinks he should be informed before the statements are made by the Department of Justice of America is a mystery.

“The money laundering was through US banks, the purchases of property with allegedly stolen money were in the US and some 20 other criminal acts were all committed in the US and are US affairs.

“Whether the criminals are Malaysian or not is irrelevant,” Mahathir, who is PPBM chairman, said in his blog today.

He also said although there may be some understanding about cooperation between the two countries when carrying out investigations on international crimes, Apandi’s office is not known for cooperating on the 1MDB issue with his foreign counterparts.

He pointed to Swiss Attorney-General Michael Lauber’s statement on April 5 that Apandi’s office had not responded to his request for detailed information to help the Swiss investigations on alleged money-laundering related to 1MDB.

“It would have been very desirable from our perspective if Malaysia had cooperated,” Lauber had reportedly said.

On June 16, Apandi said the DoJ had not asked the AG’s Chambers for any information or evidence pertaining to the 1MDB case.

“However, we would welcome such a request in line with our commitment to international cooperation and the fight against money laundering.

“As I have promised before, AGC will not hesitate to initiate proceedings against the perpetrators of criminal acts, provided there is sufficient evidence to do so.

“Any wrongdoing will be punished and Malaysia will always uphold the rule of law.”

His statement followed reports on DoJ’s court filing in California on June 5 to seize US$540 million (RM2.3 billion) in assets, including artworks, jewellery, a luxury yacht and film rights purchased with funds allegedly embezzled from 1MDB.

The assets named in the applications included the film rights to the two comedies “Dumb and Dumber To”, starring Jim Carrey, and “Daddy’s Home”, featuring Will Ferrell.

The action follows last July’s civil forfeiture suit by the DoJ which sought to recover all the assets including but not limited to the Park Lane Hotel in New York, a luxury hotel in Beverly Hills, condominiums in New York, a private jet and expensive works of art, as well as finances related to Martin Scorsese’s movie “The Wolf of Wall Street”, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Mahathir said reading the DoJ statements was a “hair-raising” experience.

“Nothing on this scale had ever happened in Malaysia.

“Indeed, even the officials of the Department of Justice of the United States were flabbergasted at the scale of money laundering, the greed and the robberies which had taken place.

“They believe this is the biggest case of money laundering that they have ever come across.”

He also hit out at Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar and Apandi for not taking suitable action on the matter.

“While being quick to set up ‘independent’ commissions to investigate alleged crimes committed 40 years ago because of a request by a party member, serious allegations by the Justice Department of the United States are simply brushed off,” he said.

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