Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Jho Low maintains innocence despite US charges over 1MDB

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Malaysian fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho has maintained his innocence after the United States Department of Justice charged him in court over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

In a statement issued on his behalf by a public relations firm based in Sydney, Australia, Low, who is also known as Jho Low, asked for the public to keep an open mind regarding the case until all the evidence comes to light as he believed that he would be vindicated.

“Mr Low maintains his innocence,” read the statement.

The Department of Justice on Thursday (Nov 1) charged Low, along with two former Goldman Sachs bankers.

News reports said that former Goldman Sachs banker Ng Chong Hwa was arrested in Malaysia on Thursday, while the former 1MDB official, Low Taek Jho, remains at large.

Another former Goldman official, Tim Leissner, pleaded guilty and agreed to pay US$43.7 million (S$60.2 million) in restitution of ill-gotten gains.

The men were charged with conspiring to launder billions of dollars from 1MDB and conspiring to bribe officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, violating the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Ng was also charged with conspiring to violate the internal controls at Goldman Sachs, which underwrote more than US$6 billion in bonds issued by 1MDB.

Low’s statement said that he held no formal position at 1MDB and was never employed by Goldman Sachs or the governments of Malaysia and Abu Dhabi.

“Furthermore, the bond offerings detailed in the indictment were undertaken openly and lawfully between experienced, well-regulated financial institutions and government entities.”

“The US Department of Justice specifically states that the charges in the indictment are allegations, and that Mr Low is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty,” the statement said.

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