KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia says it’s still probing lawyers who worked on a 2020 settlement with Goldman Sachs Group Inc over the diversion of assets from state wealth fund 1MDB, though it’s halting a legal bid to obtain documents related to the deal.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had withdrawn the court application to obtain documents from the lawyers as they were not needed for now, deputy public prosecutor Mahadi Abdul Jumaat told reporters today. The investigation remains ongoing and “we may still ask for other documents at a later stage”, he said.
The anti-graft body filed the application on Oct 11 amid festering disagreement between Malaysia and Goldman over the settlement related to the US bank’s role in the 1MDB investment fund scandal.
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said earlier this year that he wants to review the settlement his predecessor struck with Goldman, describing it as “too light”. Goldman in turn took Malaysia to a UK court for “violating its obligations”.
As part of the 2020 settlement with Malaysia, Goldman made an initial US$2.5 billion payment in September of that year. It also guaranteed the return of US$1.4 billion of 1MDB assets seized by authorities worldwide in exchange for Malaysia agreeing to drop criminal charges against the firm and to not bring new ones.
The corruption agency’s ongoing investigation is on “corruption and money laundering”, Mahadi said.
Rosli Dahlan, whose law firm acted on behalf of 1MDB when the deal was struck, said separately today that MACC’s actions were an attempt to smear his reputation.
“All these shenanigans against my firm and me must stop,” Rosli said. “There is still much to be done to recover the losses from the 1MDB scandal,” he added.
The 1MDB investment fund became the centre of a multi-billion-dollar scandal that spawned probes across continents. Months after striking the initial agreement in 2020, Goldman admitted to its role in the biggest foreign bribery case in US enforcement history.
Goldman’s lawyer Shaarvin Raaj said today that the US bank had withdrawn its application to be an intervenor in the case after the MACC halted its legal bid for the documents.