GRANTED, the third complaint of the US Department of Justice (DoJ) suit filed on June 5, no matter how damning to Prime Minister Najib Razak a.k.a. MO1, has only fortified his resolve and that of his party, with the BN coalition ostensibly standing firm behind him.
While that could be extremely intriguing to many, especially to the global community, that is how it will be until a “breakthrough of sorts” befalls his confidante, Jho Low a.k.a. Eric Tan (Tan Kim Loong). Yes, only a criminal charge against Jho Low will arguably rattle Najib and I will tell you why, shortly. Yes, only if Jho Low is put in the dock to defend himself as the “mastermind” behind this international conspiracy dubbed “Heist of the Century”!
Never mind that the first complaint of the DoJ has brought to light in compelling substance and depth, that the US$681 million transferred to the MO1 or Najib’s private account in two separate transfers were from Tanore account (Tanore Finance Corporation), taken from the US$3 billion bond raised for the ADMIC Agreement (joint venture of the 1MDB-Aabar).
Never mind that the attorney-general had on January 26 last year announced to the world that the US$681million (the famous RM2.6 billion) was a donation from the Saudi royal family without any consideration. He then declared Najib innocent of any wrongdoing.
Never mind that the auditor-general’s report to the Public Accounts Committee has been sealed from public scrutiny, using the draconian Official Secret Act (OSA).
Never mind that the third DoJ complaint has finally shed light on the much hyped US$620 million returned donation to the Saudi prince. Never mind, that the 251-page lawsuit now claims that US$200 million (RM855.3 million) siphoned from the “returned money” was used, inter alia, to buy gems for Jho Low and associates.
Yes, even if only those given to Mirinda Kerr, the supermodel and Jho Low’s mother worth US$9.9 million were mentioned in the assets seizure list. Even if adding the MO1’s wife’s 22-carat pink diamond worth US$27.3 million (RM116.7 million), brings the total to US$38.5 million (RM164.6 million) meaning that US$161.5 million (RM690.6 million) is not as yet on the DOJ’s list.
Lo and behold, all the pathetic and mind-boggling responses of the AG and cabinet ministers to defend Najib would dramatically change once Jho Low and his international conspirators are put in the dock in the “trial of the century”.
Predictably, these cabinet members who were frantically defending the indefensible boss, resorted to paraphrasing the attorney-general’s chambers (AGC), that the DoJ merely rehashed the earlier insinuations, “without proof or evidence of misappropriation”. But what evidence and proof do they want?
As basic and as elementary as it is, the AGC, especially the AG, should be conversant that in “pleading” or making a “claim” and “complaint”, one only requires to produce the “facts” and not the “evidence”.
The “evidence” would be produced in the course of the trial and the legal proceeding! You don’t plead with the evidence in summon, only the facts! If you plead the evidence in summon, it will be struck off, anyway!
But again, you don’t plead the facts unless you’ve the evidence in the first place! That is presupposed or presumed. This ignorance is deplorably baffling! Or is it a case of deliberately misleading the not-so-discerning public? Despicable!
The DoJ and the FBI are now armed to the teeth, especially after the Patriot Act was put in place after September 11, 2001, i.e. to prevent money-laundering activities. I need not elaborate again. The wheeler-dealer Jho Low and his conspirators must have been oblivious or ill-advised in transacting in American dollar and especially laundering in the US financial systems. You’re dead meat, sir!
If the media is to be believed (WSJ, Bloomberg March 22, 2017), both the US and Singaporean authorities are planning to file criminal charges against Jho Low of wire fraud and money-laundering. It is separate from the on-going civil proceedings. The ultimate reckoning is nigh.
On record, Jho Low has told news organisations that he was “the victim of political infighting in Malaysia” and was only “an informal adviser” to 1MDB.
The worst nightmare ever, nay Armageddon for MO1 would be, if Jho Low decides to save his skin and claims that he “was only acting under instruction and on advice from someone…”
Then, it will not be quo vadis IMDB, but quo vadis MO1 a.k.a Najib! Checkmate!
WRITER: Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad is strategy director of Parti Amanah Negara.