Malay Mail broke a rumour yesterday claiming Dato Najib will be arrested when he present himself for further statement at MACC yesterday.
A source claimed Najib will be locked up over night and be presented to court today for three more new charges for money laundering (AMLA). .
Najib was not locked-up but The Star this morning reported MACC confirmation.
When the rumour first broke, there were many reaction to the rumour from questioning when will the charges on the few years of accusation made on 1MDB to why cheap shot of only AMLA.
There were snide remarks by few lawyers in our WA group. The claim of rule of law under the new government is made fun off. And, the Attorney General's withdrawal of outstanding cases against PH leaders and a matter of time, Lim Guan Eng's corruption case too were raised.
Coincidently or by design, Indonesia announced they have seized the superyatch allegedly belong to Jho Loh and it turning it over to the Malaysian authority yesterday.
It is supposed to be an attention diversion from many issues pervading the new government.
Surprisingly, it is Matthias Chang who now questioned the legality of the seizure.
He and Dato Khairuddin Abu Hassan were instrumental in making the report to DoJ and various authorities at financial centres around the world.
Dear Brand New AG Tommy Thomas,Though it is critical of Tommy Thomas, there were still cynical reaction. Does Matthias not know there is no more rule of law but rule of Madey?
Did you advise the Malaysian govt (which has a few lawyers as Ministers) and Tun Mahathir whether it is lawful for Indonesia to "return" the yacht "Equanimity"to Malaysia???
Has AGC or the Malaysian Govt. submitted any formal claims to any US COURTS OR INDONESIAN COURTS that she is entitled to ownership or custody or control of the yacht pending final disposal of ownership rights claimed by parties in the US Court in California???
What is the legal basis???
Are you or AGC aware whether any court in any jurisdiction has made a final order as to the rights of competing claimants to the said yacht in pending proceedings??
Who applied for an order (if any) for the yacht to be handed over to Malaysia when it is already subject to seizure order applied by the US DOJ and obtained from a US Court to transfer custody or control of the yacht to US jurisdiction following assistance obtained from the Indonesia's Ministry of Justice pursuant to the said Order from USA.
What representation did AGC made (if any) to Indonesia or to DOJ or to the US COURT that granted the original order for arrest and seizure???
You had PUBLICLY declared that you had formed a Team of top Senior Federal Counsels to pursue civil claims against the 1MDB CULPRITS.
What claims (if any) have you (ie AGC) filed in any courts in Malaysia, Indonesia. Singapore, USA, Switzerland, HongKong etc?
If not, why not???
The news of the transfer of the yacht has made my stomach turned topsy turvy...
Hopefully you will issue a Press Statement surrounded by the members of your Civil Team, asap to clarify AGC's stand on the legality or illegality of the above action.
And the usual character attack claiming he is now left out in the cold despite his gallant effort to bring the 1MDB issue to life. Apparently, Council of Eminent Persons is left out in the cold too and requested to wrap up their work by DAP.
Jho Loh's legal team raised issues on its legality and accusing Mahathir as ignoring rule of law.
That would be interesting because Raja Petra speculated Tun Daim had met Jho Loh in China and cut a deal with them to pin Najib. Jho Loh's father had all along been Mahathir's man.
Never mind the conspiracy theory. Jho Loh's team managed to challenge the first seizure in court by the Indonesian authorities. But a former Federal Court judge just shrugged off the argument as red herring to divert attention.
AGC response is as below:
There will be more questions on the legality of the seizure.
Noticeably, no section and act of law is mentioned to conclude it is done according to Malaysian law. Its could be trying to draw out Jho Loh.
Diversion from 100 days Manifesto
Raja Petra and Reggy Jessy of Third Force see the Equinimity seizure as Mahathir trying to divert attention.
Same goes with Lim Guan Eng who is now revealed being denied entry by China and it will only be Teresa Kok that will accompany Mahathir for the China visit.
Guan Eng and his senior aide, Tony Pua is being challenged to provide proofs on his allegation towards China on the pipeline deal. COPC refuted the allegation.
He has used 1MDB as an excuse to evade difficult questions on his financial management in Parliament.
When asked on the alleged RM1 trillion debt, in which another Minister acknowledged Moody's confirmation of debt at RM686 billion, Guan Eng resort to evade with an allegation RM7 billion used to pay for 1MDB debt.
Pressed further to explain the asset side, he move on to made other allegation on Ayer Hitam land being sold to China as though it is a stand alone deal. .
It is rather disappointing that there is still no 1MDB charge against Najib. Even the Equinimity seizure raised many other questions on the process.
The superyatch was mentioned in DoJ document as to have come from money allegedly diverted through the IPIC deal to another account of similar name in Cayman Island.
A legal issue in the making in which the likelihood is the seizure is more for political drama than serious legal process.
Many years down the road, the case could be thrown out but the damage to UMNO is permanent. The media could black out the damaging part of the legal proceeding and highlight the ones that made Najib a villain.
Mahathir's uneducated diehard could not appreciate the minute but relevant case fact and legal details.
Quite sure many are taken by Guan Eng's statement that government will sell the superyatch to recover the money. Lawyers raised issue on his remark.
Since Matthias mentioned the team of lawyers hired by Tommy Thomas, Sabahkini2 raised the issue on the lawyer that inspected the superyatch on its arrival at Pulau Indah.
Tommy Thomas hired his own firm! A probable offense under Section 23(2) of the MACC Act. Is he telling us that the AG Chamber is unfamiliar with receiving seized asset from abroad?
Harian Metro reported the seizure of the superyatch will cost the government RM3 million a month. So the remark Mahathir should just sell off 1MDB if it is such a burden and why the need to go to such costly extent.
Equinimity another lingerie propaganda
The political argument expected to surface is maintaining the superyatch more important than the needs of fishermen, farmers, palm oil small holders, tahfiz teachers, and generally the common folk rakyat.
Maybe it will not create much dent. he revelation on the value of money, jewellery, handbags etc of RM1.1 billion seized from Najib's home and condos in Bukit Bintang is damaging to Najib and UMNO.
The Equinimity serve as an attention grabber that will attract onlookers to Pulau Indah. It will be an iconic image for the public to remember.
Its similar to the attention Dato Azmin Ali gave to the lingerie investment of Khazanah Nasional to highlight and sensationalised the loss making investment to put cover over the larger profit made.
Another round of charges related SRC may not be 1MDB but it will seal it for Najib and UMNO.
The usual defensive arguments may not hold water as the perception Najib is guilty of corruption and UMNO was part of it will be imbedded in the public psyche and legality does not matter any more.