The Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali should explain why the 17-point Q&A on the US Department of Justice (DOJ) legal suits for forfeiture of over US$1 billion assets in the United States which had been stolen, embezzled or defrauded from 1MDB and the people of Malaysia was taken down after it was uploaded onto the Attorney-General’s Chambers’ Internet Portal on Monday.
Is this because the 17-point Q&A acknowledged that “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” mentioned 34 times in the 136-page 513-paragraph DOJ legal suits is the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak although Najib was not named in the suits?
Najib said after the DOJ filed its action under the US Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative (KARI) 2010 on Wednesday that the government takes the DOJ’s allegations seriously, and that “whoever is named should take responsibility and clear their names, and ensure that the people’s money are not abused”.
As Najib is not, and cannot deny that he is the “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” mentioned 34 times in the DOJ suits, and which was as good as acknowledged by the 17-point Q&A uploaded on the AG Chambers’ website on Monday, would he act on his own advice to “take responsibility” and clear his name “to ensure that the people’s money are not abused”?
Although the Malaysian AG Chambers’ website “Q&A” on the DOJ suit acknowledges that “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” is Prime Minister Najib, it failed to satisfactorily explain the 34 references in the 136-page DOJ suits to “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1”.
The “Q&A” on the Attorney-General’s Chambers website on Monday even failed to give satisfactory rebuttal to the most outstanding item in the 1MDB scandal and DOJ suits, viz: that the US$681 million in Najib’s personal banking accounts were from 1MDB through Tanore account and not from any Arab royalty.
According to the DOJ legal suits, the over US$3.5 billion misappropriated from 1MDB came in three phases:
• firstly, the “Good Star” phase where more than US$1 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB from Sept. 2009 to 2011;
• secondly, the “Aabar-BVI” phase in 2012, where approximately US$1.367 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB from two separate bond issues totalling US$3.5 billion arranged by Goldman Sachs International;
• thirdly, the “Tanore” phase, where several individuals, including 1MDB officials, diverted more than US$1.26 billion out of a US$3 billion third bond issue arranged by Goldman in March 2013.
The US$681 million deposit into Najib’s personal banking account occurred in the third “Tanore” phase, after the issue of a US$3 billion Goldman-underwritten bonds in March 2013.
This is from the DOJ legal suits:
“259. Shortly after proceeds of the 2013 bond sale were diverted to the Tanore account, $681,000,000 was sent from the Tanore Account to a bank account belonging to MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1.
“260. On or about March 21, 2013, Tanore transferred $620,000,000 into an account at AmBank in Malaysia, whose beneficiary was listed as ‘AMPRIVATE BANKING-MR.’ On or about March 25, 2013, an additional $61,000,000 was wired from the Tanore Account to the same account at AmBank, for a total of $681,000,000.
“261. This account belonged to MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1 and is the same account that in 2011 received $20 million from the PETROSAUDI CO-FOUNDER that was traceable to the Good Star Account, as set forth in Section II.G. It is also the same account that in 2012 received at least $30 million from the Blackstone Account that was traceable to the Aabar-BVI Swiss Account and the 2012 bond proceeds, as set forth in Section III.E.3.
“262. On or about August 26, 2013, $620,010,715 was wired from a different account at AmBank to the Tanore Account. This AmBank account also belonged to MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1, and the transfer represented funds from the $681 million payments that were being returned to Tanore.
“263. The Attorney-General of Malaysia publicly stated that he conducted an inquiry into the $681 million payments. In a press release issued on January 26, 2016, the Malaysian Attorney-General confirmed that, ‘the sum of USD681 million (RN2.08 billion) [was] transferred into the personal account of [MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1] between 22.03,2013 and 10.04.2013,’ and that, ‘in August 2013, a sum of USD620 million (RM2.03 billion) was returned by [MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1]…” The Malaysian Attorney-General ultimately characterized the payment of $681 million as a ‘personal donation’ to [MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1] from the Saudi royal family which was given to him without any consideration.”
The Malaysian Attorney-General’s Chambers Q&A failed to rebut the DOJ case that US$681 million in Najib’s personal account was from 1MDB through the Tancore account and not from any Arab royalty.