We received a tip-off in the middle of the week before last that Jho Loh is "cooperating" with the US Department of Justice (DOJ).
The source speculated that he could implicate Dato Mohd Najib to save his skin. Yes, the source is not from the Anti-Najib Campaigners, but pro-Najib. It sounded rather protective.
A check with an ANC side source found there is some truth to it but the extent of the "cooperation" is not known.
Another source speculated that Jho Loh could be a "crown witness" and that way, get let off with a slap in the hand. They called it state witness in the States.
Me no lauyar, but our logic, based on some understanding and opinion of law practitioners, limited access to certain people, and years of following 1MDB before the public is aware of such a thing, tells me that something does not feel right.
Over tea on the Thursday with someone on a certain matter, the subject came up. And, there was something concrete to confirm such possibility.
However, we were thinking more of the matter in hand. But, we did shared some ideas with the someone.
On Thursday morning, Sarawak Report broke the following:
In her posting, Clare Rewcastle Brown was rambling more of Sheikh Yousef Otaba, the UAE Ambassador to the US and his relation with Jho Loh.
It could be totally ignored as nothing to do with 1MDB but money diverted from legally fulfilled obligation of 1MDB.
The title matter came only at the end and is quite typical of a spinned and dramatised writing.
She revealed the following May 17, 2017 e-mail:
In the first place, we hardly trust any email document of Clare.
She adulterated email on Petrosaudi and till today, could not produce evidence Good Star belonged to Jho Loh. On many occasions, she was caught publishing fake documents and pictures since the day SR came online in 2006 to attack Pehin Seri Taib Mahmud.
And she is corrupt too (read Third Force here).
It makes no sense for Jho Loh to be a US state witness.
He is the real culprit as far as Malaysians in the know of the 1MDB debacle. This blog made this known as early as February 2015 and several postings after (read here, here and here).
The leak of selective documents (not complete set) in the 1MDB attack is about the problem with the high living fatso.
But, Tun Dr Mahathir took it for a spin to oust Najib to avenge for Mukhriz's VP loss and the nationalisation of his IPP cronies or some say, proxies.
Inside sources within ANC claimed Mahathir hired SR's Clare and a team of lawyers to concoct documents and collaborated with Loretta Lynch and James Comey to file a complain.
The existing accusation on Najib is weak and based on the premise of ultimate responsibility. It could be dispelled as political propaganda to put him in play.
More information and evidence required to proof he was actively involved in the wrongdoings.
There must be substantive facts and evidences or a logical story/personal experiences to accuse a person of murder as in the Altantunya's death, or corruption for the purchase of two Scorpene submarines and now the swindling of 1MDB's RM42 billion, to use Mahathir's figure and recently, argued in support by Tony Pua at a political rally.
In the first DOJ civil case, Jho Loh's family made claims on several assets. So one could presume he is cutting a deal to request his family's asset be taken of the list and remaining asset fought in court.
The Bloomberg report mentioned that:
Low also issued a statement in June, saying the U.S. government was continuing “inappropriate efforts to seize assets despite not having proven that any improprieties have occurred.”It would odd on DOJ to not pursue the main "player" in this alleged scam and given a Get Out of Jail card to get away scot free.
Civil forfeiture on hold
Then Friday yesterday, August 11th, the following Bloomberg news:
"The U.S. is moving forward with a criminal investigation into money stolen from a Malaysian state investment fund that allegedly was used to acquire about $1.7 billion in real estate, art, jewelry and other assets.The Reuter's version of the same news here. Both the report highlighted as headline of US law enforcement pursuing a criminal probe.
Court filings by the Justice Department Thursday show the U.S. is escalating its probe in a worldwide effort to track how much of the money that was raised by 1Malaysia Development Bhd. was used to pay for luxury real estate in New York, London and Beverly Hills, film productions, private jets, yachts and more.
Justice Department officials asked a judge in Los Angeles to put on hold civil forfeiture lawsuits against assets acquired by Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, and others involved with 1MDB because pursuing these cases may hamper the criminal investigation."
Nurul Izzah pulled a circus act vowing to bring back the alleged stolen 1MDB fund (read FMT here).
Gobind requested AG office to send representative to US and report on the latest development (read FMT here).
Gopal Raj Kumar responded in his FB here, below:
No representatives need go anywhere as Malaysia does not and rightfully so, recognize the incomplete fictitious jurisdiction of the DoJ in the 1MDB affair.No doubt there will be gullible members of the public that could fall for the trick.
What the 1MDB affair has exposed is an illegality the US complains of often against countries like China and any other state that has disagreements with it. The appropriation of an independent nations sovereignty.
Who gave the US the right to pursue the 1MDB complaint. The complaint has to come from a lawful authority firstly that is recognized as having authority to make such complaints.
They had no idea that the questionable part of the two civil asset forfeiture applications by DOJ lies in it's civil nature. It is unfair to freeze assets on mere suspicion under a law that is above all other existing laws and empowered to few people!
Lawyer Lukman Sheriff in his Facebook here see the criminal action pursued as more appropriate:
... US DOJ civil action ... runs contrary to many principles of natural justice. It implicates people unfairly and does not provide a platform for those implicated to defend. It's an action against assets but without trial on the person.The same opinion of US Supreme Court judge, Clarence Thomas in a previous posting here.
Legally trained Islamic banker and Deputy CEO of Tabung Haji, Badlisyah Abdul Ghani highlighted in his facebook here a moral hazard issue enforcement agencies getting rewards from successful seizure
... why they had promised to give back to some foreigners (Malaysian) from a far away land (Malaysia) certain assets subjected to a civil forfeiture proceedings in US when most if not all of the assets supposedly purchased by monies stolen from the foreigners will actually go to US law enforcement agencies in accordance with US laws if they are successful in securing the forfeiture.Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim wrote in Malaysia Today here, below:
.. the idea of the US trying to save Malaysians of their assets is akin to the argument that the US was trying to save the world from weapon of mass destruction by bombing Saddam Hussein and the people of Iraq. .. there is no such thing as a free lunch.Why now?
The reason for the delay in the civil cases was reported in Bloomberg as:
An FBI agent warned in a U.S. court filing that information disclosed in the civil cases may reveal “potential targets and subjects of the investigation and the investigative techniques that have been and will be used in the investigation.”After more than two years from the filing of the first case and the fanfare over the biggest case of Kleptocrasy, a term former US Attorney General, Loretta Lynch made popular in Malaysia, why only now do DOJ decide to take the criminal route?
"Such disclosures could result in the destruction of evidence, flight of potential subjects and targets, or the identification and intimidation of potential witnesses," according to the agent’s declaration.
Zakhir aka Bigdog cynically described DOJ's reason in the facebook of Salahuddin Hisham here as akin to begin to date and getting acquinted after getting a woman 4 months pregnant.
Baru nak buat "Federal criminal investigation"? Boom ... Pang ... Boom ... Pang ... Boom ...Pang! Dah dua pengumuman DoJ! Dua tahun berturut. Beratus muka surat, macam-macam cerita...... Macam nak rak! Laa .... Masih peringkat " Siasatan jenayah" ke???Its the stuff of a Bollywood musical.
Kalau dulu masa pengumuman DoJ kali pertama tu main, bunting, anak dah umur 4 bulan dah pun! Tak kan baru ni nak mengorat, 'dating-dating, kenal-kenal'..... Wayang Hollywood grade B pun tak sloppy cegini plotnya!
The perception is DOJ's first civil case tanked in court and subsequently filed another civil action to keep the case current in the public mind.
Since it is still not moving forward, it could it be a DOJ diversion.
In his Facebook here, BN Strategic Communications (BNSC) Deputy Director Dato Eric See-To said it plainly that the civil suit were going nowhere and is essentially frozen.
"This is nothing new as more than a year ago, there were periodic news reports that criminal charges were imminent - but until today, no criminal charges has been filed as yet," he said.
Mahathir's lawyer Haniff Khatri protested and accused BN of spinning. He claimed the case has escalated into a criminal case. (Read FM here)
Since critics of DOJ have long questioned why not press for criminal charges, Hanif is spinning too. So do Clare Brown in her later posting, "Does this mean it's CRIMINAL?"
To save face, Malaysiakini (read in Din Merican's here) reported "government (US) had been conducting the criminal probe prior to the commencement of DOJ’s action, and that investigation was still ongoing".
Both Bloomberg and Reuters reports did not reiterate earlier statement by Loretta Lynch that claimed they believed there were basis to file for seizure and forfeiture.
Spokesman for the DOJ in Los Angeles, Thom Mrozek, neither made immediate comment nor response to any questions.
Desperate Jho Loh
here, Clare Brown express confidence that the 1MDB criminal charge is a foregone conclusion.
She has been confident for years but it has not concluded to anything. Is she so confident Jho Loh would squeal to implicate Najib?
Jho Loh may have possession of documents with Najib signatory. Maybe he gave leads for FBI to investigate further.
Bloomberg reported Jho Loh's statement in June that look like a hint:
"We look forward to the court being presented with the actual facts which demonstrate that the DOJ’s case is completely without foundation."The e-mail in May only made known that he had "working relationship" with US enforcement authorities.
Jho Loh may have cooperated upon realising he has no place to run and his yatch is closely followed by international media.
And sources claimed he tried to get help through certain local person but no one is willing to cover for him.
This blog posted few years ago that Najib was ready to face the political storm but cover-up he will not. It came from reliable source.
|Mkini March 2017's trail cover, Guan Eng: Why not probe Jho Low's father, also a Tan Sri?|
More over, words in Penang in the early part of the year was that Jho Loh is in a financial bind and his family resorted to "borrow" money from Lim Guan Eng or his associate like Teddy Teoh.
The family controls Penang based listed companies, Loh & Loh Construction Berhad and MWE Berhad
In moments like this, there is no Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan or Miranda Kerr around to provide comfort.
Jho Loh is starring at more than Ponzi scheme Maddoff's 120 years sentence and well endowed black inmates ready to devour porky faced's fair skin bun.
Desperate people would do anything to survive. Me generations of Y and Z are not strong willed by character and would crumble under pressure.
They are too quick to show off and flaunt their wealth, power and connection.
To pin Malaysia's Prime Minister or the suspected MO1, DOJ need more than leads. It has to be more than a smoking gun, dead body and witnesses.
By giving Jho Loh immunity, it means US will only be pursuing Riza Aziz, Khadem Al Qubaisi and Muhammad Badewy.
It is not difficult for Riza to account for the financiers he syndicated finances for his movies. Thus it is only the Arabs.
Jho Loh could be betraying his partners-in-crime to leave them at the court altar. SR have been spreading claim of Khadem and Muhammad is being reprimanded to await trial in UAE.
They could response to in turn squeal against Jho Loh or collaborate with Jho Loh to implicate Najib. Could this be linked to the exposed UAE Ambassador to US?
Let's not discount the possibility of more evidences on Jho Loh's wrongdoings suddenly surface everywhere. DOJ would then be in a bind to protect him as state witness too.
What happen if the whole complain and civil asset forfeiture orchestrated by Mahathir is revealed as mere conspiracy for a trial by media and political coup d'etat to oust Najib?
By then, the only reason for Jho Loh to get protection and immunity is US "national interest".
What would constitute national interest to the US to pin Najib when much is expected of Malaysia to provide leadership in the fight against terrorism and their pursuit of North Korea?
Which geo-global interest is of higher priority to US - Singapore? China? Saudi Arabia? UAE? Qatar?
Instead of loans to put nations in debt, his mission is to lure FDI seeking Malaysia into a leverage investment and it id then detoured into a financial scandal.
Anything is possible in the game of international espionage. It just sounded stretching it a bit too far.
The simple reality check to all this is to ask where is 1MDB's lost money that is burdening on the rakyat?
All it's monies are accounted for. As far as 1MDB is concerned, it is making profit. More profit to come from development of Bandar Malaysia and TRX.
The delayed IPIC payment sorted out. It was just timing.
There is no default by 1MDB to need bailout costing billions to the rakyat. Government seed money for 1MDB is only RM1 million!
Bailouts are something Mahathir does very well.