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Can Najib remain if 10 'killer paras' unchallenged, Kit Siang asks AG

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Lim Kit Siang has not completed reading the entire 251 pages of the latest court filing by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in relation to the 1MDB scandal.

However, the veteran politician has found “10 killer paragraphs”, and is wondering whether attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali had read them before declaring there was nothing new in the documents.

“I am referring to Paragraphs 339 to 348 under the section '$681 million was transferred from the Tanore account to an account belonging to Malaysian Official 1',” Lim said in a statement today.

The DAP leader said these paragraphs were directly linked to the RM2.6 billion in Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's bank accounts, which was described as a 'donation' from a Saudi royalty to 1MDB.

Lim also corrected Apandi on the latter's statement that he regretted the DOJ's insinuations against the prime minister.

“For Apandi’s information, they are not insinuations but an open and direct charge by the US government that the prime minister had lied when he claimed that the RM2.6 billion donation had come from Saudi Arabian royalty,” he said.

“I have not completed reading the 251-page updated US DOJ kleptocratic suit to forfeit over US$1 billion 1MDB-linked assets, but I can say that Apandi cannot be more wrong when he suggested that there was nothing new in the expanded DOJ kleptocratic suit.

“Apart from the titillating and tantalising information about what another 1MDB king-pin Jho Low did with the US$620 million which Najib was supposed to have returned to the Saudi Arabia royal donor, Apandi should ask whether Najib can continue as prime minister if he allows the 10 'killer paragraphs' in the latest DOJ kleptocratic suit to stand unchallenged,” Lim added.

Najib has repeatedly denied abusing public funds for personal gain and blamed such allegations on those conspiring to topple him from power.

In January last year, Apandi had cleared the prime minister of any wrongdoing.

Below are the 10 paragraphs from the DOJ filing Lim was referring to:

D. $681 million was transferred from the Tanore account to an account belonging to Malaysian Official 1

339. 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.

340. 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.” The wire transfer was processed through correspondent bank accounts at JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo in the United States. 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.

341. This account belonged to Malaysian Official 1 and is the same account that in 2011 received $20 million from the Saudi account 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.

342. Bank records reflect that (Eric) Tan signed the wire instructions to transfer $681 million to the AMPRIVE BANKING-MR account. Bank records also reflect that bankers at Falcon Bank confirmed the transfer with Tan during a phone call on March 21, 2013 at 11:58pm.

343. An email sent from Tan’s account falsely represented to Falcon Bank that the AMPRIVATE BANKING-MR account was owned by SRC International, a former 1MDB subsidiary that was transferred to the direct control of the Ministry of Finance in 2012. The email also falsely represented that the transfer of $681 million to that account was being made pursuant to a Sharia-compliant financing agreement, known as a Mudharabah Agreement, between Tanore and SRC International. Falcon Bank was provided with a purported copy of that financing agreement, which was dated March 18, 2013 and was signed by TAN and the 1MDB-SRC OFFICER. Despite the existence of this purported agreement, Tanore was a shell company with no legitimate business. The false agreement was submitted to Falcon Bank to conceal the true nature of the payment to MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1, which if disclosed to the bank, would have required the bank to engage in additional compliance inquiries to verify the legitimacy of such a large transfer of funds to a high-ranking public official.

344. Bank records reflect that the validity of this supposed investment agreement was confirmed in a phone call between the 1MDB-SRC OFFICER and the Falcon Bank CEO, and that two other Falcon Bank employees were present during that call. Bank records indicate that the Falcon Bank CEO and the 1MDB-SRC OFFICER “know each other personally.”

345. On or about August 26, 2013, $620,010,715 was wired from a different account at AmBank to the Tanore Account held in the name of AMPRIVATE BANKING-MY. 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.

346. As discussed in Part VI.CC below, a portion of the $620 million that MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1 “returned” to the Tanore Account was passed through various additional accounts controlled by TAN and LOW and was ultimately used to purchase a 22-carat pink diamond pendant and necklace for the wife of MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1. The necklace was commissioned in July 2013, after the jeweller met with LOW, HUSSEINY, and the wife of MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1 in Monaco. The purchase price of $27,300,000 was paid on or about September 10, 2013, using funds traceable to the $620 million payment from MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1 to Tanore.

347. The Attorney-General of Malaysia publicly stated that he conducted an inquiry into the $681 million in payments. In a press release issued on January 26, 2016, the Malaysian Attorney General confirmed that, “the sum of USD681 million (RM2.08 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 characterised 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.”

348. In fact, as explained above, official bank records for the Tanore Account confirm that (a) the payment of $681 million came from the Tanore Account; (b) TAN was the recorded beneficial owner of the Tanore Account, (c) TAN (or someone using his email address) directed the payment; and (d) Falcon Bank was told that the payment represented an investment in SRC International. As described above, the only funds in the Tanore Account at the time of the $681 million payment originated from 1MDB.

Editor’s note: The following interactive feature is best viewed using a browser.


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