KUALA LUMPUR: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan has denied that the 1MDB civil case has anything to do with Prime Minister Najib Razak.
He was responding to US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions, who said yesterday that nearly half of the US$3.5 billion corruption proceeds seized by the US was related to the 1MDB enforcement action.
“I have been saying it all the time that the civil suit has nothing to do with the prime minister,” Rahman said on the sidelines of the Umno delegates pre-council meeting at PWTC here today.
“My point is validated.”
At the Global Forum on Asset Recovery hosted by the US and UK in Washington, Sessions had hit out at the 1MDB issue, calling it “kleptocracy at its worst”.
He said although 1MDB was created to promote long-term economic development, allegedly corrupt officials and their associates had reportedly used the funds for a lavish spending spree.
“Today, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) is working to provide justice to the victims of this alleged scheme,” he added.
In court filings in California on June 5, the DoJ sought to seize US$540 million (RM2.3 billion) in assets, including art works, jewellery, a luxury yacht and film rights purchased with funds allegedly embezzled from 1MDB.
The assets named in the applications included the film rights to the two comedies “Dumb and Dumber To” starring Jim Carrey and “Daddy’s Home” featuring Will Ferrell.
The action followed the DoJ’s civil forfeiture suit in June last year 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 and expensive works of art, as well as finances related to Martin Scorsese’s movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Najib, who until last year was the chairman of 1MDB’s advisory board, has denied any wrongdoing and was cleared by Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali.