UNITED States Attorney General Jeff Sessions is merely parroting his predecessor’s views without realising that the Justice Department’s civil suit has nothing to do with 1Malaysia Development Bhd, says a Special Affairs Department (Jasa) director.
Tun Faisal Ismail Aziz, who is a former Umno Youth exco, said Sessions’ comments that 1MDB was “kleptocracy at its worst” and that the US was working to give justice to victims of the scandal proves that he does not understand the facts of the case.
“A civil case is only based on complaints and assumptions and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has not yet proven anything beyond a reasonable doubt,” Tun Faisal said in a statement today.
He also questioned who the “victims” Sessions’ referred to were.
“Goldstein said that the DoJ was now in a deadlock because 1MDB insists that the allegedly missing money is not their money, while the case is being built on the belief that this money was taken from 1MDB,” said Tun Faisal.
The Umno leader said that the US should instead investigate the Abu Dhabi government’s wealth fund, International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), as it had claimed that it had lost money.
IPIC had claimed that 1MDB did not honour certain payments to it and took the case to the London Court of International Arbitration.
Chief among the complaints was that 1MDB did not pay a US$1.2 billion (RM4.8 billion) loan to IPIC.
1MDB claimed that it had paid IPIC unit Aabar (BVI), while the Abu Dhabi firm said Aabar (BVI), while it shared a similar name to its unit, was not theirs.
IPIC and 1MDB settled their differences in April, with 1MDB agreeing to pay IPIC US$1.2 billion in two tranches – the first in July and the second on December 31.
Tun Faisal said that Sessions should know that the money-laundering cases in Singapore also had nothing to do with 1MDB as the latter does not have any accounts there.
“The Monetary Authority of Singapore ordered Falcon Bank to close its operations there because the bank ‘did not understand Singapore’s money laundering laws’. It was not ordered closed because of 1MDB,” said Tun Faisal.
Besides Falcon Bank, the Development Bank of Singapore, Union Bank of Switzerland and BSI Bank also had similar weaknesses, he said.
“Sessions should also be told that the Luxembourg case has nothing to do with 1MDB although it is connected to IPIC’s former managing director, Khadem Al Qubaisi.
“The new report linked Rotchschild (of Luxembourg) to Al Qubaisi and not 1MDB chief executive officer Arul Kanda or former CEO Shahrul Azral Ibrahim Halmi.”
“It may be more appropriate for Sessions to first respond to these questions about who has lost money, IPIC or 1MDB, before making any statements.”
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT