Jho Low denies wrongdoing after USA charges over 1MDB scandal

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's adviser Daim Zainuddin had previously said Low attempted to contact him several times on Sept 6

Jho Low contacted Mahathir's adviser last week to seek immunity: Report

The DoJ on Thursday (Nov 1) charged Low along with two former Goldman Sachs bankers.

If indeed so, can Low suggest the names of countries of his choices for him to stand trial and to prove his innocence over the 1MDB global fraud?

Goldman did not immediately have a comment Thursday. The investment bank, which generated about $600 million in fees for its work with 1MDB, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and said it is fully cooperating with authorities.

Former leader Mahathir Mohamad, outraged over the scandal, came out of retirement and the opposition united behind him in the national elections, leading to Najib's ouster in May.

Prosecutors in the United States and elsewhere believe that a group of people with close ties to former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak stole from the fund to buy paintings, yachts, real estate and even investment stakes in movies such as The Wolf of Wall Street.

He has since been charged with corruption, abuse of power and criminal breach of trust in Malaysia. Prosecutor say the money was to pay for jewelry for the official's wife. It has previously denied any wrongdoing.

USA prosecutors previously filed civil asset forfeiture suits for assets allegedly bought with some of the stolen funds.

The Justice Department also says another former Goldman Sachs banker, Tim Leissner, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money and violate anti-bribery laws.

Low, said to be a central figure behind the alleged embezzlement of billions of dollars from 1MDB, reached out as recently as last week, Daim Zainuddin told broadcaster Astro Awani.

These are the first criminal charges brought in the case, and the indictment accuses the men of laundering dirty money through the USA financial system by purchasing luxury New York City real estate, artwork from an unnamed New York-based auction houses, and by funding unspecified major Hollywood productions.

Low, who remains at large, issued a statement through a spokesman maintaining his innocence.

Najib in 2015 sacked his attorney general and a deputy prime minister for demanding answers about 1MDB.

Mr Leissner, who served as Goldman's South East Asia chairman and a participating managing director, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money and violate USA anti-bribery laws. Leissner has been ordered to forfeit $43.7m as a result of his crimes.

Mr Ng was a managing director at Goldman until his departure in May 2014.

Low's whereabouts aren't publicly known and Malaysia has sought Interpol's help to locate and arrest him.

His team of very prominent and expensive lawyers should be able to prove it easily, especially since he is "not involved" and "innocent".

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