Height of government irresponsibility and professional negligence not to have legal representation in the US DOJ kleptocratic suits to forfeit US$1.7 billion of 1MDB-linked assets money-laundered from US$4.5 billion through American banks
It is the height of government irresponsibility and professional negligence on the part of the Cabinet and the Attorney-General’s Chambers not to have legal representation in the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) kleptocratic suits to forfeit US$1.7 billion of 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kindom and Switzerland from money-laundering of US$4.5 billion misappropriated from 1MDB.
The answer from the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman that the Attorney-General’s Chambers has no plans to send lawyers to the US to observe the DOJ’s civil forfeiture suits on 1MDB-linked assets is most shocking indeed.
If the Najib government is consistent, isn’t the Attorney-General’s Chambers seeking an intervention in the US DOJ proceedings to prove that the US DOJ civil forfeiture proceedings are completely misplaced, as both the Malaysian government and the 1MDB had not lost a single sen and that no 1MDB funds had been money-laundered through Americans banks to the tune of US$4.5 billion with US$1.7 billion of 1MDB-linked assets the subject of kleptocratic assets forfeiture proceedings?
The Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali should even make a special trip to the United States to make a special submission to the American courts that American actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr were wrong and misguided in handing over their multi-million US dollar gifts from 1MDB mastermind Jho Low to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and demand the return of the gifts to the rightful owners.
Representatives of Leonardo Di Caprio announced last month that the American actor had turned over an Oscar won by Marlon Brando to US investigators probing money laundering by 1MDB as well as initiated the return of other, unidentified items that the actor said he accepted as gifts for a charity auction and which originated from the international 1MDB money-laundering scam.
In July last year, Hollywood production company Red Granite was accused in a US civil lawsuit of using US$100 million that prosecutors said had been diverted from the 1MDB fund to finance DiCaprio’s 2013 film “The Wolf of Wall Street,” in which he starred.
DiCaprio said in October he was cooperating with the probe and would return any gifts or donations if they were found to have come from questionable sources.
In a new filing on 15th June 2017, the US DOJ moved to seize artwork by Picasso and Basquiat that it said had been purchased with money-laundered 1MDB funds and gifted to DiCaprio by associates of Red Granite.
The latest DOJ filing also sought to seize the assets of two other Red Granite produced films which US investigators alleged were financed by money from the 1MDB fund – the 2014 comedy “Dumb and Dumber To” starring Jim Carrey, and 2015 comedy “Daddy’s Home” starring Will Ferrell.
It was also reported last month that Melinda Kerr had transferred the gifts which were diverted and misappropriated from 1MDB by Jho Low to DOJ agents from her safe-deposit box in Los Angeles – which included an 11.72 carat heart-shaped diamond valued at US$1.29 million and a US$3.8 million 8.88 carat diamond pendant.
The heart-shaped diamond pendant was gifted to Kerr by Jho Low on Valentine’s Day 2014 while the heart-shaped necklace came from New York-based designer Lorraine Schwartz.
Would Apandi seek an intervention in the US DOJ kleptocratic forfeiture proceedings to submit that the US DOJ forfeiture proceedings were misconceived , wrong and mischievous as the so-called 1MDB international money-laundering scandal never existed?