KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 17): Fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, the alleged mastermind behind the financial troubles at 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), today lambasted the PH Government led by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for fuelling a "trial by media" over the 1MDB fiasco.
He said this via a statement issued by his spokesman, through his attorneys, following a Wall Street Journal report earlier today, citing sources, that claimed he was being given refuge by China.
According to the report, Low, also known as Jho Low, is to be used as a bargaining chip by China during Dr Mahathir’s upcoming visit to the country, which, among others, would touch on the direction of China-linked investments in Malaysia.
In response, Low accused prosecutors and government officials of leaking information to reporters whom he described as having “passed judgement” before any evidence has been presented in any court, and being in support of a Dr Mahathir regime that he termed "has proven its utter disregard for anything resembling a fair legal process".
"Today’s Wall Street Journal article was obviously planted there by the Mahathir regime, working with these reporters towards a common goal: The Wall Street Journal reporters have a book coming out next month that they are trying to sell, while Dr Mahathir is intent on advancing his own corrupt political agenda by assigning guilt without any form of legal process. So much for the rule of law.
"This has been a case of trial-by-media from the start, fuelled by leaks from prosecutors and government officials who have little interest in the truth. For the Wall Street Journal, it is a gross breach of journalistic ethics. There is a clear conflict of interest in allowing reporters with a financial interest in a particular narrative to report on these matters. Any facts that get in the way of the themes of their upcoming book are ignored, while any source — no matter how self-interested — who advances their storyline is believed," the statement read.
It went on to say that Low believes there is no jurisdiction where he can get a fair hearing in the matter.
"To reiterate: Mr Low will not submit to any jurisdiction where guilt has been predetermined by politics and self-interest overrules legal process,” it added.
Low has been said to be the central figure in the 1MDB fiasco, which reportedly involved a leakage of some US$4.5 billion from the state investment fund.
Recent 1MDB-linked developments have resulted in Malaysia seizing assets linked to Low — the latest being the US$250 million super-yacht Equanimity, which authorities said could be sold by year-end to make up for monies said to have been siphoned out of 1MDB.
Dr Mahathir has previously called for Low to return to Malaysia to claim the yacht if he has proof the yacht was bought using his own funds.