Swiss AG’s Office: Najib is not under accusation by Swiss govt in relation to 1MDB and SRC funding

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak is not one of the “public officials under accusation by Swiss authorities on suspicion of bribing foreign officials and other offences.

A statement by the Swiss Attorney General’s office said the six people under investigation by Swiss authorities are two former officials from 1MDB, two former officials from Abu Dhabi sovereign funds and two officials of Saudi energy group Petrosaudi.

At a press conference, Lauber said Switzerland was investigating funds linked to both 1MDB and SRC.

TTF: The statement was issued after Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber met with his Malaysian counterpart Tommy Thomas in Kuala Lumpur, meaning, Tommy is well aware of the development.

KUALA LUMPUR: Switzerland is investigating six people on suspicion of bribing foreign officials and other offences, as part of a money laundering investigation into Malaysian state fund 1MDB, the Swiss attorney general’s office said on Tuesday.

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is not one of the “public officials under accusation”, the statement said.

It was issued after Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber met with his Malaysian counterpart Tommy Thomas in Kuala Lumpur.

1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB as it is known, is at the centre of money laundering investigations in at least six countries, including Switzerland, Malaysia and the United States.

The U.S. Department of Justice has said an estimated $4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB, a fund founded by Najib.

Najib, prime minister until a shock May 9 election loss, was arrested and charged last week by Malaysian authorities for abuse of power and criminal breach of trust in connection with transactions linked to SRC International, a former  unit of 1MDB.

Najib pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was released on bail. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing in relation to 1MDB.

SWISS INVESTIGATION

The six people under investigation by Swiss authorities are two former officials from 1MDB, two former officials from Abu Dhabi sovereign funds and two officials of Saudi energy group Petrosaudi, the Swiss Attorney General’s statement said.

At a press conference, Lauber said Switzerland was investigating funds linked to both 1MDB and SRC.

“The whole funding of 1MDB and SRC International is about $7 billion,” Lauber said, referring to the funds his office says originated from 1MDB and SRC and flowed through the global financial system from 2009 to 2015.

“This is just what we saw in our investigations in Switzerland, so a part (of it) most likely went through Switzerland and other parts went somewhere else,” he said.

Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier that former Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner was in talks with U.S. prosecutors to potentially plead guilty to criminal charges stemming from an alleged scheme to steal billions of dollars from 1MDB. – Reuters

Below is the statement posted on the Swiss attorney general’s office website

Bern / Putrajaya: The Attorney General of Switzerland, Michael Lauber met his counterpart, Tommy Thomas, today on 10 July 2018 during an official working visit to Malaysia, where the two officials discussed the coordination of the investigation into the 1MDB case.

Attorney General Michael Lauber and a delegation of the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) were received by the recently appointed Attorney General Tommy Thomas and other officials of the Malaysian Attorney General’s Chambers during a high level meeting in Putrajaya. Focus of the discussions were on the cooperation between the two prosecution authorities, in particular with regard to the 1MDB case.

The main emphasis in the discussions during the  official work visit was laid on the need to affirm a mutual commitment to the rule of the law and the resumption of mutual legal assistance between the two jurisdictions.

Regarding the status of the Swiss criminal proceedings into the 1MDB case, the OAG is able to provide the following general summary:

Context:

The OAG is investigating the use of financing obtained by the Malaysian sovereign funds 1MDB and SRC. The financing was earmarked for investment in economic development projects, in particular the PETROSAUDI, TANJONG / GENTING and ADMIC projects, as well as in an SRC investment project involving natural resources.

All or part of the financing obtained is alleged to have been used for other purposes, most particularly for the personal enrichment of the persons involved.

At this stage of the proceedings, 6 persons are under investigation and two banks are suspected of involvement. The investigation was opened in response to reports from MROS and the analysis of the MROS information carried out by the OAG.

Criminal proceedings against natural persons:

On 14 August 2015, the OAG opened proceedings against two former officials at 1MDB and against persons unknown on suspicion of bribery of foreign public officials (Art. 322septies Swiss Criminal Code, SCC), misconduct in public office (Art. 314 SCC), money laundering (Art. 305bis SCC) and criminal mismanagement (Art. 158 SCC).

The investigation was extended in April 2016 to include two former officials from the United Arab Emirates who had been in charge of Abu Dhabi sovereign funds. They are suspected of committing fraud (Art. 146 SCC), criminal mismanagement  (Art. 158 SCC), misconduct in public office (Art. 314 SCC), forgery of documents (Art. 251 SCC), bribery of foreign public officials (Art. 322septies SCC) and money laundering (Art. 305bis SCC).

In November 2017, further proceedings were opened against two officials of the Petrosaudi group on suspicion of criminal mismanagement (Art. 158 para. 2 SCC), fraud for commercial gain (Art. 146 para. 1 and 2 SCC), bribery of foreign public officials (Art. 322septies para. 1 SCC), aggravated money laundering (Art. 305bis para. 1 and 2 SCC) and misconduct in public office (Art. 314 SCC). One of the two suspects is also suspected of document forgery (Art. 251 SCC).

Mr Najib Razak, the former Prime Minister, is not one of the public officials under accusation.

Criminal proceedings against legal entities:

In May 2016, following the decision in enforcement proceedings brought by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA, the OAG opened criminal proceedings against the BSI SA bank related to suspected deficiencies in the bank’s internal organisation. It is believed that, due to these deficiencies, the bank was unable to prevent the commission of offences currently under investigation.

In a similar manner, in October 2016 the OAG opened an investigation into the Falcon Private Bank SA on suspicion that, due to organisational deficiencies, it may have permitted the commission of the offences currently being investigated in the criminal proceedings relating to 1MDB.

Switzerland has itself received requests for mutual legal assistance from a number of foreign states. In connection with Malaysia, the OAG has requested mutual legal assistance on two occasions from the law enforcement authorities in Putrajaya.

After the latest developments in Malaysia, the OAG was very much interested in renewing dialogue with the competent authorities in Malaysia in order to establish the most efficient form of cooperation and to ensure good coordination of the criminal investigations between partnering authorities. The future of this cooperation between Switzerland and Malaysia has been in the center of the official working visit in Putrajaya on 10 July 2018.

Finally, with regard to the assets seized, the OAG is unable to provide details of the figures currently involved.

As always, the presumption of innocence applies for all parties involved.

Source: The Star Online

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