Ex-AG denies reaching any deal with Goldman Sachs

Former attorney-general Tommy Thomas says he did not agree to accept a US$1.75 billion (RM7.43 billion) settlement with Goldman Sachs.

PETALING JAYA: Former attorney-general Tommy Thomas has denied reaching any settlement with US investment bank Goldman Sachs when he resigned on Feb 28.

In a statement today, he also said he did not agree to accept a US$1.75 billion (RM7.43 billion) settlement with Goldman Sachs.

“We did not (accept the US$1.75 billion deal). No settlement on any terms had been reached with Goldman Sachs when I resigned on Feb 28,” he said.

Thomas was responding to Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz’s revelation in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that the previous government was keen on an out-of-court settlement over the 1MDB debts with Goldman Sachs.

Zafrul also told the house of a letter dated Feb 11, where Thomas had informed former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad that Goldman Sachs had agreed to increase its offer to US$1.75 billion.

He added that the former AG had suggested that ways be found to settle the matter out of court.

“This is different with his statement that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government should not accept the out-of-court settlement,” Zafrul said.

But today, Thomas said he did not want to prolong an unnecessary slanging match with the finance minister over the issue, adding that Zafrul should be “devoting all his time and energy in managing the national economy” in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said he was severely handicapped without copies of all his letters on the issue to Mahathir.

The PN government last month reached a settlement with Goldman Sachs on a US$3.9 billion settlement over the multibillion-dollar 1MDB scandal. The deal includes a US$2.5 billion cash payout by Goldman Sachs and a guarantee by the bank to return at least US$1.4 billion in assets linked to 1MDB bonds.

On Aug 3, Thomas said he saw no clear motivation for the federal government to settle what was a “very strong” criminal case in return for US$2.5 billion in compensation.

In a letter published on The Edge Markets website, Thomas also contended that a conviction would have also resulted in at least the same amount being repaid to Malaysia in the form of penalties, based on precedent.