Why would Saudi royals donate money stolen from 1MDB, asks WSJ journo

Twitter pic.

PETALING JAYA: The Wall Street Journal journalist who co-authored “The Billion Dollar Whale” today hit out at former prime minister Najib Razak for claiming that the billions in his account came from the Saudi royal family.

Bradley Hope, who wrote the book with fellow journalist Tom Wright, said it was crazy of Najib to peddle the claim as extensive documents had proven that nearly all the money came from 1MDB.

“Why would these Saudi princes donate money stolen from 1MDB?” he said in a series of tweets.

He added that if Najib was searching for credibility, he should at least admit the facts of the money taken from 1MDB.

“Then, he could explain how he thought it was from Saudi Arabia, or was told it was from Saudi Arabia.

“But to argue that it was actually from Saudi Arabia is a disastrous tactic.”

Najib, who is Pekan MP, had criticised a report stating that the donations from the Saudi royal family were not signed for by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

He was referring to a newspaper article stating that Mohammad Abdullah Al Koman, who claimed to be the representative of the Saudi prince, told the investigators that he had prepared the letters and signed them on behalf of the prince.

“Those who read this article without thinking deeper will conclude that I am trying to deceive the people.

“It is important to note that all the letters received by the bank and I used the letterhead of Prince Abdulaziz Al-Saud and all the letters used the same signature,” he said in a Facebook post.

Hope’s co-author, Wright, also hit out at fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho for claiming that they had published the book in haste.

“Hastily published? It was three years of our lives! @bradleyhope #BillionDollarWhale,” he tweeted.

Wright was responding to a statement by the 36-year-old businessman, who had labelled the non-fiction book as hastily published, calling it “guilt by lifestyle and trial by media at its worst”.