Yesterday, 1MDB scandal financier fugitive Jho Low was again charged in absentia in Malaysia with seven charges involving the 1MDB scandal, five charges under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 involving him receiving US$1.03 billion (RM4.28 billion) from 1MDB through his company Gold Star Ltd and another two other joint charges with Tan Kim Loong under the same Act involving US$1.2 million (RM5.24 million).
In a statement through his public relations firm in Sydney after the charges in absentia, Jho Loh claimed innocence in the 1MDB scandal and alleged that the charges were made to “create a false sense of security for the political loss that the Mahathir regime has brought upon itself due to its failures on current issues; disregard for the rule of law; and intentional misinterpretation of the constitution”
Jho Low said through the Australian public relations firm: “They are no more than a continuation of the trial by media and political reprisals by the Mahathir regime.”
His spokesperson said Low maintained that he is innocent, and would not submit to any jurisdiction where he claimed there is no independent legal process and guilt has been determined by politics, that that Low “cannot get a fair trial in Malaysia, where the regime has proven numerous times that they have no interest in the rule of law”.
Two questions immediately come to mind:
Firstly, what has happened to former Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein’s self-appointed role and offer to bring Jho Low back to Malaysia to “face justice”?
Does this mean that Hishamudin has tried but failed; or he has not tried at all.
Malaysians are entitled to know.
Secondly, Jho Low seemed to be making a political statement on behalf of Najib and the present opposition. Who are the politicians who have been advising Jho Low, whether directly or indirectly?
For this reason, Malaysians want to know whether Najib, the Ministers in the Najib Cabinet, and all leaders and MPs of the present Opposition, agree with Jho Loh that in Malaysia, there is “no independent legal process and guilt has been determined by politics”; that Low “cannot get a fair trial in Malaysia, where the regime has proven numerous times that they have no interest in the rule of law”, and that Jho Low was wise and right not to return to Malaysia to “face justice”?
Jho Low is probably competing for a place in the Guinness Book of Records for an international fugitive from justice, for there are at least 10 countries where he would be wanted either for 1MDB scandal criminal and corruption charges or investigations.
These countries include Malaysia (only after the historic change of government on 9th May 2018), Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Luxembourg, Seychelles, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America.
Although Jho Low is prepared to spend hundreds of millions of ringgit of 1MDB monies to lobby and bribe US officials to drop the largest 1MDB kleptocratic litigation which had been filed by the US Department of Justice in July 2016 – which was recently revealed by the DOJ in the US courts – he had avoided the United States like a plague since July 2016.
Which country’s legal system would Jho Low have confidence that he would get a fair trial and be prepared to submit himself to its jurisdiction?