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Monday, June 19, 2017

I never met US officials, Dr M says over conspiracy claims

Former premier and now the government's biggest critic Dr Mahathir Mohamad laughed off claims that the opposition was behind the United States Department of Justice's filing in the 1MDB case.
In fact, the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairperson said he has never even met a US official on the matter.
"I have never met any American official but certainly the opposition has no influence at all over investigations, detailed investigations carried out by the US government," he told Channel News Asia in an interview today.
"I'm flattered that you should think that we have influence over the US government. You know nobody has any influence over the US government. Even (US President Donald) Trump is finding difficulty," he said.
Yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the DOJ must reveal the complainant to expose the political motives behind the filing.
The DOJ is seeking to seize more than US$1 billion in assets it said was stolen from 1MDB.
They include properties and jewelry bought by Jho Low, a 1MDB-linked individual and family friend of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and assets owned by Najib's stepson Riza Aziz.
Najib has denied wrongdoing and when asked if he will take legal action against the DOJ, he said he will not make any more statements on the matter.
Meanwhile, Mahathir brushed off suspicions that the DOJ filing was linked to complaints lodged by Mahathir loyalist Khairuddin Abu Hassan.

Khairuddin and his lawyer Matthias Chang, who was once Mahathir's political secretary, were last year detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act for alleged economic sabotage after lodging the complaints on 1MDB to international enforcement agencies.
However, Mahathir said this was in the "early days" of the investigations.
"They went there because they could not get any response. This happens to be crimes committed in America, Switzerland and elsewhere.
"This is the right of the Americans, in fact, they were already investigating," he said.- Mkini

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