PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he was puzzled as to why US prosecutors named several individuals over funds allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB but yet refused to reveal the identity of “Malaysian Official 1” mentioned in their report.
In his latest blog posting, Mahathir pointed out that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) was “happy to write down the names of the other culprits”, namely Riza Aziz, who is Prime Minister Najib Razak’s stepson, Low Taek Jho (better known as Jho Low), and Abu Dhabi government officials Khadem al-Qubaisi and Mohamed Ahmed Badawy Al-Husseiny.
“If it is because this is not at the stage of making criminal charges, then no names should be named,” the former prime minister said.
Mahathir had three days ago claimed everyone knew that “Malaysian Official 1” was Najib.
Malaysia’s longest-serving PM also wondered how the DOJ was going to charge “Malaysian Official 1” without naming him.
The US DoJ’s decision to remain tightlipped over the identity of “Malaysian Official 1”, the elderly statesman said, had led to Najib’s supporters declaring that the latter was not involved in this particular case.
Mahathir then trained his guns on Attorney-General Mohamad Apandi Ali for insisting that there was no proof that money from 1MDB was misused despite the detailed descriptions in the DoJ report.
Apandi, he said, should show proof it did not happen.
“Merely saying it is not true is not enough. The AG’s words have no credibility at all,” he added.
In its civil suits, filed in Los Angeles on June 20, the DoJ said it sought to seize assets “involved in and traceable to an international conspiracy to launder money misappropriated from 1MDB”.
The DoJ also alleged offences were committed over a four-year period and involved multiple individuals, including Malaysian officials and their associates, who conspired to fraudulently divert billions of dollars from 1MDB.