Hornbill Unleashed

June 21, 2017

Why implicate ‘Rosmah’ if no plans to seize diamonds, minister asks DOJ

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan has criticised the United States’ Department of Justice (DOJ) for implying that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s wife had committed a wrongdoing.

He questioned the need for making the implication when the department did not intend to seize the 28 jewellery items, which included a pink diamond necklace valued at US$27.3 million.

During a press conference in Cyberjaya, Rahman mentioned Rosmah Mansor by name when quizzed if the DOJ civil forfeiture suit last Thursday had unfairly targeted the prime minister’s wife.

The DOJ suit, on the other hand, had referred to the person for whom businessman Jho Low had purchased the jewellery items for as the wife of Malaysian Official 1 (MO1).

“You (DOJ) mock, you gave the impression that Rosmah and the diamond did something wrong.

“But in the document you submitted, you didn’t include the diamond as one of the items that you want to seize. It was unnecessary to put the name there,” said the minister.

Following the DOJ’s first 1MDB-related filing, Rahman had also confirmed that the MO1 mentioned in the documents was Najib.

However, he stressed that since the premier was not named in the DOJ filing, the latter was not a subject of investigations.

Asked whether he stood by his comment today, Rahman said he had talked about it multiple times and as such, there was no need to discuss it further.

The DOJ had in the 251-page lawsuit last Thursday detailed how US$620 million MO1 had allegedly returned to a “donor”, was instead transferred to Low who then used it to buy the pink diamond.

Low had also used funds allegedly siphoned from a Deutsche Bank loan to 1MDB to purchase 27 pieces of gold necklaces and bracelets worth US$1.3 million for MO1’s wife.

Neither items are on DOJ’s list of assets to seize.

However, the agency told Malaysiakini that the facts regarding the source of funds used to purchase the jewellery were highly relevant to the charges alleged in its lawsuits.

It also said that its probe into 1MDB was still ongoing.

To this, Rahman questioned why details of an ongoing investigation were made public in such a “flamboyant” manner “full of insinuations”.

He also questioned if the DOJ had released its expose now because it thought Malaysia would have elections soon.

“Why conclude (the case facts) so fast? Is it because you think the election is after Aidilfitri, that’s why?

“This kind of questions by the DOJ will be fully utilised and abused by the opposition, so I really hope the DOJ could have exercised some restraint,” Rahman said.

Source : Malaysiakini by Zikri Kamarulzaman



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