Azalina: Govt not sending observers for 1MDB-linked US suits

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PETALING JAYA: The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) is not planning to send observers to the United States following the US Department of Justice’s decision to file another suit to seize assets purchased with funds allegedly embezzled from 1MDB.

“The Malaysian government is a firm believer in the rule of law and respects the right of the DoJ to take legal action within the confines of the law,” Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said said in a written reply in the Dewan Rakyat today.

The defacto law minister was responding to a question from Azman Ismail (PKR-Kuala Kedah) who wanted to know if the government was going to send any one from the AGC to observe the proceedings of the suits in the US.

In its latest court filings in California, the DoJ is seeking to seize US$540 million (RM2.3 billion) in assets including art works, jewellery, a yacht worth US$165 million, and film rights purchased with funds allegedly embezzled from 1MDB.

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

This action follows the first civil suit filed by the DoJ last July 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, expensive works of art, as well as the financing of Martin Scorsese’s movie “The Wolf of Wall Street”, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio.

With the recent court filings, the total value of the assets sought by the DoJ has increased to US$1.8 billion (RM7.7 billion).

The DoJ also charged that from 2009 through 2015, more than US$4.5 billion (RM19 billion) belonging to 1MDB had been diverted by high-level officials of the fund and their associates.

However, Azalina said that while the government is monitoring all the developments in the suits filed, it noted that no criminal charges had been filed against individuals linked to the case nor have there been any court ruling on the matter.

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