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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

After DoJ’s claims, AG duty-bound to re-open 1MDB probe

The allegations made in DoJ civil suits over funds allegedly linked to 1MDB make Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali duty-bound to reopen previous investigations.
By Gobind Singh Deo
Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali has no real basis to conclude that the United States Department of Justice’s (DoJ) claims in a civil suit are political in nature.
Just because there has been no request for assistance from Malaysia does not make it political at all. If the DoJ already has enough information to support its claim, then they are perfectly entitled to proceed in any manner they deem suitable under their laws.
The Attorney-General must remember that the claims relate to transactions which are alleged to have taken place in a manner which is now believed to be actionable under US laws.
If you go abroad, you are bound by the laws of the country you go to. If you commit an offence there, then they are perfectly entitled to act against you in their country in accordance with their laws. That is their right.
So this position taken by some quarters that this action by the DoJ is an attempt at foreign intervention into our affairs does not make sense at all.
The Attorney-General shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss the claim.
I have said this before and I shall say it again. Whether he likes it or not, there is a claim for which evidence will probably be led and that evidence may implicate various quarters.
The DoJ states clearly that people should not conclude that those named in its documents are guilty or even innocent.
The DoJ then explained in an email to Malaysiakini, published on June 21, 2017, as follows: “The law requires we allege sufficiently detailed facts to establish a reasonable belief that we will prevail at trial.”
This is why it is crucial for the Attorney-General to examine the facts so as to determine who may be implicated in that trial and how that will happen.
Malaysia cannot just sit back and fold its arms and do nothing in a situation like this. It must take an interest in what is likely to be said and established at the trial later.
We are talking about huge amounts of money and the possibility of allegations of money-laundering and possible violation of criminal laws in the process.
The Attorney-General is, I think, duty-bound to advise the government to act in a case like this by virtue of Article 145 of the Federal Constitution. He is, by virtue of that provision, the chief legal adviser to the Cabinet.
He would also be, by virtue of that very provision, as Public Prosecutor, duty-bound to reopen previous investigations into the case in view of the fresh revelations through this new claim by the DoJ.
Gobind Singh Deo is Puchong MP. -FMT

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