Malaysiakini News

DOJ's 1MDB updates to court now sealed

Published:  |  Modified:

A US court has granted the Department of Justice's (DOJ) application to hold hearing updates on its 1MDB-related investigations behind closed doors.

A court document sighted by Malaysiakini said "good cause" was shown for further updates to be held in camera.

It is not clear what the cause was, as a declaration in support of the DOJ's application, made last week, was also sealed.

On Sept 13 last year, California Central District Court judge Dale S Fischer granted a stay on DOJ’s 1MDB-related civil forfeiture suits.

The DOJ had applied for the stay two weeks earlier, over concerns that details disclosed in the proceedings could jeopardise the ongoing criminal investigations, which it said had been ongoing since 2016, before the civil forfeiture suits were filed.

“Such disclosures could result in the destruction of evidence, the flight of potential subjects and targets, or the identification and intimidation of potential witnesses,” FBI special agent Jill Enyart had said at the time.

However, as a condition for granting the stay, the court ordered the DOJ to provide it with updates on the investigation every 180 days. This means the first round of updates was due on March 12. 

The updates are meant to allow the court to assess whether the stay order should continue or be lifted.

The civil forfeiture suits are part of a US initiative to seize corruption proceeds that the DOJ alleged had been misappropriated from 1MDB and laundered through the US financial system.

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