Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali has said he had yet to receive any request from the United States Department of Justice (US DoJ) for any information or evidence related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
In a statement today, he also expressed his concerns about the insinuations and allegations made against the prime minister for alleged criminal wrongdoings in relation to the “civil action in rem” filed by the US DoJ.
“I wish to clarify that at no point in the civil claim filed by the US DoJ is the prime minister named as a defendant or has been alleged to have committed any criminal wrong.”
Apandi said he would welcome any request in line with the commitment for international cooperation and to fight against money laundering and corrupt practices in the country.
“As the public prosecutor, the Attorney-General will not hesitate to initiate proceedings against the perpetrators of criminal acts, provided there is sufficient evidence to do so.
“Any wrongdoing must and will be punished. Malaysia will always uphold the rule of law,” he said in a statement today.
He noted that the US DoJ civil action was for alleged laundering of money misappropriated.
However, he clarified there had been no evidence from investigations carried by any Malaysian law enforcement agencies in various jurisdictions to show that money has been misappropriated from 1MDB.
“There have been no criminal charges preferred against any individuals for the offence of misappropriation of funds from 1MDB.”
Apandi, who took over as AG a year ago, said at present there was an ongoing investigation conducted by the police on matters related to 1MDB.
As such, given that the investigation is under way, it would not be appropriate to divulge details that may compromise the investigation.
He pointed out it was crucial to preserve the integrity of the investigation as the public must not doubt the outcome of the investigation.
The US DoJ filed the lawsuit yesterday, saying that over US$3.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB over a period of four years by multiple individuals, including Malaysian officials and their associates.
In its lawsuits, filed in Los Angeles, the US DoJ said it sought to seize assets worth USD1 billion allegedly bought to launder money misappropriated from 1MDB.
It specifically named Riza Aziz, who is Najib’s stepson, Jho Low, and Abu Dhabi government officials Khadem al-Qubaisi and Mohamed Ahmed Badawy Al-Husseiny.
The DoJ’s seizure of more than USD1 billion worth of assets, the single largest seizure in US history, was expected to include properties and other assets purchased with money allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB.