1MDB says DoJ suit lacks firm evidence

1mdbPETALING JAYA: 1MDB says the latest civil suit filed by the US Justice Department (DoJ) seeking to seize some US$540 million worth of assets allegedly linked to money stolen from the troubled firm lacks firm evidence.

“1MDB notes that the civil lawsuit does not contain any appendices with documentary proof or witness statements to support the allegations made by the DoJ,” it said in a statement today.

It added that it had not been contacted by the DoJ regarding the matter and was not a party to the suit.

The DoJ’s move compounded court cases launched last year in which Washington sought to confiscate more than US$1 billion allegedly embezzled by businessmen with political connections in Malaysia, bringing the total amount US officials say was stolen to US$4.5 billion.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) dismissed the move, saying the allegations were aimed at smearing certain individuals and had arisen from input by political opponents.

In a press statement today, the prime minister’s press secretary Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad said: “We are also concerned by the unnecessary and gratuitous naming of certain matters and individuals that are only relevant to domestic political manipulation and interference. This suggests a motivation that goes beyond the objective of seizing assets.”

Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali also hit out at the claims, saying neither Malaysian nor international authorities investigating 1MDB had furnished any evidence of misappropriated funds.

He also said no charges had been brought against Prime Minister Najib Razak, who until last year was the chairman of 1MDB’s advisory board.

Najib, who has consistently denied any wrongdoing in connection with 1MDB, was cleared by Apandi on Jan 26, 2016.

In the statement today, 1MDB reiterated that it would “fully cooperate with any foreign lawful authority, subject to international protocols governing such matters and the advice of the relevant domestic lawful authorities”.