Today is the second day of Ramadhan. Yesterday, after Terawih prayer, it was exactly a hijrah year and one day that Dato Najib's home was raided upon his return from 1MDB-funded Kg Baru Mosque.
It is not to commemmorate the momentous occasion. As of May 7th today, it is 9 days to May 16th midnight and stretching to May 17th, they day it will be exactly one Gregorian year since the raid. Till today, there has been no charges with regard to the seized goods.
The AMLA law allows for the seized goods to be held for six months and any extension will require a court order. Upon reaching a year without any charge, there is no more legal avenue for the police to hold back the properties and money seized.
In March 18th posting, this blog raised the issue of some goods were possibly missing and the seizure done at the condominiums was in absence and without owners' signature to acknowledge the goods seized.
It was done in contravention of the Criminal Procedure Code. The police stands to be liable to any dispute on the goods seized. Dato Najib raised about the UMNO money declared by police was short.
On the first case of SRC, the government side seemed to face a snag since the testimony of government witnesses from the Banks did not came out as expected.
It was supposed to be a plain sailing for prosecution to lay out and confirm the background of the case, prove there is a prima facie case against Dato Najib, defense present their case, and Gopal Sri Ram's "That's my boy!" send the former PM to jail.
However, the cross examination by the defense lawyers wiped the smile off the faces of Tommy Thomas and Uma Devi. There were smiling and main mata at each other in broad daylight of the court in session.
It may have been upsetting for Dato Najib, who should not be happy with this obvious indication that the witness is biased and likely coached by AGC, possibly Tommy Thomas himself.
Thus far, the defense side managed to uncover the correspondance of Joanna Yu, the banker at Ambank handling former PM Dato's Najib's account SRC proceeding in which there was a request PM not be told of a particular transaction.
Her name was mentioned as an important character at Ambank in Tom Wright and Bradley Hope's book Billion Dollar Whale.
Uma Devi told the court there was a sizeable amount of money coming from Aabar into Dato Najib's account. It was a good reminder to all that SRC was at the tail-end of the alleged 1MDB scandals involving Petrosaudi, IPIC, etc.
She confirmed also money came from Prince Faisal Turki as repeatedly explained by Dato Najib.
These money were larger than the RM42 million Dato Naiib is being charged for.
The SRC case is about abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering. Thus far, the money have all been accounted for and defense have shown that Dato Najib was not solely managing the account but assigned with a power of attorney to Nik Faizal and late Dato Adlin.
It was raised that Nik Faizal was not authorised to withdraw money and sign cheques, but there is suspicion he could have forged signatures. The prosecution's defense of Ambank was Najib did not complain of the irregularities then.
Read Azmi Arshad's blog on his view of the case HERE.
The defense will need to show more proofs that Najib has no control of the money and it was not meant for personal purpose. On CBT, defense need to disprove any entrustment on Najib's part. It will be directed to SRC investment.
The government was hoping the approval by Najib for the RM4 billion KWAP investment would be useful to show abuse of power. The investment was guaranteed by government and it was safe and the return was good for KWAP.
There was attempt to show his signatory was a directive, but apparently, his directive was rejected by EPU who suggested that SRC invest in alternative energy sources.
A witness from KWAP said it breached the investment guideline limit of RM2 billion and process was made in a hurry. Najib signed the letter of guarantee before the process claimed Amirul Imran Ahmat. More of his testimony HERE and HERE.
Question is whether it had undergone due process and constitute abuse of power on the PM side for agreeing? Is Nik Faizal's rejection of KWAP request for investment reports worth taken in consideration?
Why BNM and MACC failed to dig up on the strange RM88 million transaction to Mail Global Resources Sdn Bhd? Maybe it was AG's exuberance at the behest of Mahathir.
1MDB not enough evidence?
At the rate things are going, the occupant of a home in Bukit Tunku are quite relax and confident.
For the second case related to 1MDB, the AGC office is in contradiction with their written directive to the judges to not allow for further delay. The trail was due for last week but the second application by AG to postphone again was allowed by the court with the next court date fixed for August.
This case requires evidences and witnesses on the money trail of the Petrosaudi deal to dispute money came from Arab donors. Uma Devi of Ambank testified in court on the existence of Arab donors.
The suspicion is the AG side has insufficient evidence and there is the likelihood that the foreign parties are not cooperating to attend.
Lets forget then the other charges, except for LHDN tax bill, slapped on Dato Najib. The legal process only proves money was received by Dato Najib. Are the money or donation taxable? More so, it was returned back to the Arabs.
Dato Najib's lawyers must look at it seriously. Two things are sure in life - death and taxes. Tax laws are different in nature from civil law or criminal law or quasi criminal-civil law such as money laundering. The Director General of LHDN is powerful and his assessment seldom not disputed in court.
This blogger was provided with document containing 10 precedent tax cases that could go against him.
Mahathir's subtly acknowledge he is wrong
The latest from Tun Dr Mahathir to say government is committed to recover at least money of US$7 billion of 1MDB money may have missed everyone. He said Jho Loh stole most of the RM42 billion lesap money, the figure he used during GE 14 campaign but incapable of justifying and convincing.
MMO quoted him saying, "“He stole all the money, missing from 1MDB alone was RM42 billion. Who keeps the money? Where is it?”
“I think there is some evidence Jho Low has taken a lot of money for himself.”
US have returned US$200 million to Malaysia in which the bulk of it is the settlement Red Granite made with the US District of Justice. Not sure if it included sales of New York's Park Lane Hotel, returned jewellery of Miranda Kerr and returned gifts of Leonardo de Caprio. It is still far cry from US$7 billion. More so, the alleged diverted money of Petrosaudi and IPIC amounted to US5 billion.
Wait a minute...
Didn't Mahathir said "Najib pencuri, perompak dan penyamun" all these years and blame the happenings at 1MDB (and SRC) to him?
This blogger realised something strange with 1MDB way back in 2011 in a session with former CEO, Dato Shahrol. Apparently, he is going to be a crown witness.
However, it was later discovered that 1MDB had embarked into thoughtful and sincere CSR to assist the poor and needy as far as the interiors of Sabah and Sarawak without seeking credit. Back then, opposition side laughed it off as give a little to steal big.
Further investigation only found the hands of Jho Loh everywhere but that of Dato Najib is unclear, speculative and presumptous. Attempts to secure explanation could not put their finger on the actual offense, except the commonly heard phrase, "Don't tell me he does not know" and general provision of law of his power as Minister of Finance. One instance of Jho Loh's presence was an incident involving former Terengganu MB, Dato Md Said.
A close confidante of Mat Said described Jho Loh's attitude in a meeting. Md Said had reservation and requested for more information. It angered Jho Loh as it would delay his Petrosaudi scheme for the then TIA. He displayed his arrogance and flaunted his influence to make a call immediately and that put the MB in trouble.
Off shore banking and high finance is not the forte of most Malaysians. More so for the former MB.
It is a sigh of relief that Mahathir finally aimed his cannon at Jho Loh. He seized and sold Jho Loh's superyatch Equinimity (though it was not proven in the Indonesian court as his) and seized with intention to sell the family home of Jho Loh (which Jho Loh claimed was built 10 years before 1MDB existed).
Noticeably, news on the sales of Jho Loh's US$39 million LA mansion, and the return of jewellery by his mother were attracting media attention.
Perhaps Mahathir had just finished reading the book by the two WSJ reporters and realised Clare Rewcastle fabricate and exegerate most of her stories. The Whale book described the whole problem of 1MDB happened off-shore and involved the hands of Jho Low and his group of friends at Goldman Sachs. Unofficially, WSJ is DOJ's mouthpiece.
It was the view this blogger took from 2015. The "sure" guilty party then was only Jho Loh. But why was it that the Malaysian government drag their feet on Jho Loh but went all out for Datok Najib instead?
In a chance meeting few years ago with an American Bank's bond originator, he revealed his bank was approached by Jho Loh for the Petrosaudi bond issue, but Jho Loh did not come back to him.
Few months after the approach, he accidently saw Jho Loh with a group of Goldman Sachs people at a Mandarin Oriental hotel abroad. He knew immediatey they got the deal.
The American banker claimed the prospectus on the 30-year bond deal was structured loosely.
It will not be easy to pin it on Jho Loh. But Goldman Sachs sure kena.
It could be the reason Government dragged their feet in their search for Jho Loh. It took them a long time before finally doing token charges against him in absentia, in which in his absence, it look more of a wayang or satisfy police late action. It was filed after US filed charged against Jho Low.
In the meanwhile, it was Singapore that focus their action against Goldman Sachs for banking offenses. US court is focused is on Goldman Sachs too with Malaysian Roger Ng being extradited and charged there.
Mahathir only wanted to play politics and topple another leader. It as only an after thought to pretend to do a criminal charge against Goldman Sachs in Malaysia. With a struggling SRC case, not sure it is a serious effort.
For Malaysia to file criminal proceeding against Goldman Sachs, does it have both locus standi and the legal capacity under Tommy Thomas leadership of the AGC?
Basically, Mahathir's comment on Jho Loh is a subtle admittance that he has pursued the wrong guy.
This blogger is interested to see more of the truth to come out from the trail of Dato Najib.
Thus far, it is most likely this blogger was right for not being convinced by Mahathir and four years ago, took the stand to leave the vengeful great liar for his repeated habit to topple leader after leader.
"Not again", we said then.
In the meanwhile, smelling something cooking behind the political curtain.
Is it related to the current development on Jho Loh? Or is it related to the political development related to the Rome Statute or PPBM and PPBM-led Johor state government or DAP closed door convention?
Whatever it is, what you see is not what it may seemed to be?
* Updated: 8/5 7:00 AM