HULU SELANGOR – The delay in civil lawsuit trial against 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) shows that the DOJ does not have a strong case against the former, said 1MDB President Arul Kanda Kandasamy.
He said the assets forfeiture suit had yet to be heard since its sensationalised press conference in July 2016, and the DOJ in March this year asked for a six-month extension period that will end in September.
“It is weird…If the DOJ has a strong case, why is there still no trial after two years?
“To me, justice delayed is justice denied. If there is indeed a strong and legitimate case, then let it be heard,” he told reporters after a talk on the 1MDB issues here last night.
The DOJ alleged about US$4.5 billion fund was misappropriated from the strategic investment arm from 2009 to 2015.
Arul Kanda said 1MDB, as a company, would assist if it was asked and legal action must be taken under the law if there is indeed any wrongdoing.
“And we all want to have a clear picture and understanding on this,” he said, adding that 1MDB is not a party to the DOJ lawsuit.
On a related matter, Arul Kanda said 1MDB is currently in good faith negotiations with the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) to get back the US$3.5 billion security deposit it had made to Aabar Investments PJS Ltd (BVI) (Aabar BVI) under the Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund’s order.
He stressed that 1MDB’s claim is against Aabar BVI, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aabar Investment PJS, a company that is fully-owned by IPIC.
“What they (Aabar BVI) has done with the money is not in our knowledge and responsibility, that’s not our company.
“If indeed the DOJ allegation is correct, that Aabar BVI paid that money to purchase properties and others, we cannot claim those assets. Our claim is against Aabar BVI (not the assets),” he added.
In late February, Indonesian authorities seized a luxury superyacht, Equanimity, which is allegedly linked to Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, in Telok Benoa, Bali under the request of the DOJ as part of its asset forfeiture suit investigation.
The DOJ claimed that the superyacht was bought using funds siphoned from 1MDB.
Meanwhile, in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Report on 1MDB, the fund company declared it had paid a total of US$3.51 billion to Aabar BVI.
The payment included the US$1.367 billion as a security deposit for the US$3.5 billion of bonds in 2012; US$993 million for the termination of options granted to IPIC or Aabar in November 2014; and additional sums of US$855 million and US$295 million as top-up security deposit in September and December 2014 respectively. – BERNAMA