Malaysia’s An­war says wanted 1MDB sus­pect to get fair trial

The Myanmar Times - - Asean Focus -

LEAD­ING Malaysian politi­cian An­war Ibrahim said Tues­day a fugi­tive ty­coon ac­cused of ran­sack­ing a state in­vest­ment fund will be given a fair trial, while hint­ing that more for­mer of­fi­cials could be tried on cor­rup­tion charges.

US pros­e­cu­tors last week charged Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, for his al­leged role in an epic money laun­der­ing and bribery scheme that pil­fered bil­lions of dol­lars from the in­debted 1MDB fund.

At­tend­ing an eco­nomic fo­rum in Sin­ga­pore, An­war said yes­ter­day he was “quite pleased” with the de­vel­op­ments in the case so far and that in­ves­ti­ga­tions in the US, Malaysia and Sin­ga­pore and other places were “pro­gress­ing very well.”

The Malaysian gov­ern­ment has brought mul­ti­ple cor­rup­tion cases against for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Na­jib Razak and of­fi­cials in his ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Be­cause the new gov­ern­ment has com­mit­ted it­self to an in­de­pen­dent ju­di­ciary, “any­one, whether Na­jib or Jho Low, will have to... be as­sured a guar­an­tee of a fair trial,” An­war said.

Na­jib sti­fled in­ves­ti­ga­tions into 1MDB while in of­fice but the scan­dal led to the rul­ing coali­tion’s shock­ing elec­tion ouster in May. An­war and his for­mer po­lit­i­cal neme­sis, Ma­hathir Mo­hamad, put aside their en­mity to form the four-party al­liance that won the elec­tions, and Ma­hathir has said he will serve for two years and has des­ig­nated An­war as his suc­ces­sor.

Na­jib and his sup­port­ers have called the crim­i­nal charges against them po­lit­i­cal vengeance, and a state­ment on Jho Low’s web­site from when he was charged with money laun­der­ing in Au­gust said he main­tained his in­no­cence.

Na­jib’s wife, his for­mer deputy, two ex-se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and a for­mer chief state min­is­ter have been al­ready charged with cor­rup­tion.

An­war hinted yes­ter­day that more charges could be un­veiled.

“Our po­si­tion is those who have been in­volved in the squan­der­ing of bil­lions from pub­lic purse must be charged and fol­low the due process be­cause we need the monies stolen back,” he said.

“It’s not my money ei­ther. We owe it to Malaysians to make sure that we get back the funds.” – AP

– AP

An­war (right) speaks at the Bloomberg New Econ­omy Fo­rum in Sin­ga­pore, Tues­day, Nov. 6, 2018. An­war says that a fugi­tive ty­coon ac­cused of ran­sack­ing a state fund will be given a fair trial while hint­ing that more for­mer of­fi­cials could be hauled to court for cor­rup­tion-re­lated charges.

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