KUALA LUMPUR (July 16): Former attorney general (AG) Tan Sri Apandi Ali said on Saturday (July 16) that law firm Kobre & Kim — purportedly representing fugitive financier Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) — had reached out to him to facilitate meetings with the Malaysian government, to repatriate siphoned monies from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
Apandi told The Edge that he arranged a series of meetings between representatives from the law firm who had come to Malaysia and current AG Tan Sri Idrus Harun at the end of May this year.
“I was approached by Kobre & Kim from Washington DC, seeking my assistance to arrange for a meeting with the AG of Malaysia, at the end of May 2022. I arranged a series of meetings, whereby, representatives from Kobre & Kim came to Malaysia,” Apandi, who was present at the meetings, said.
He said an unspecified number of meetings were attended by Idrus, an officer from the AG’s Chambers (AGC) and a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) official with the executives from Kobre & Kim. The meetings took place at the AG’s offices.
“The purpose of the meetings was to discuss the repatriation of monies allegedly siphoned by Jho Low from 1MDB,” he said.
Apandi then added that the meetings “looked positive” but were cancelled.
“After the said meetings, which at that material time looked positive, it (the negotiations) was aborted and called off by the AGC suddenly, for reasons best known to them,” he said.
On Friday, The Edge reported that Jho Low, who is accused of masterminding the heist of billions of dollars from 1MDB, had offered RM1.5 billion to the Malaysian government to settle the charges against him, according to sources who were aware of these meetings.
The source also corroborated what Apandi said on Saturday: the Malaysian government had rejected the proposal by Jho Low’s team.
Jho Low, who is accused of siphoning money from 1MDB, is facing a US$3.78 billion (about RM15.85 billion) suit filed by 1MDB and its four subsidiaries.
It was also reported that Apandi was representing him in negotiations with the Malaysian government.
Apandi had previously cleared then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak of any wrongdoing in 1MDB in 2016 during Apandi's tenure as AG under Najib's administration.
Following a change in government in 2018, Najib was charged with abusing his position as then prime minister and finance minister as well as chairman of 1MDB's board of advisers, to receive gratification.
He is also facing money laundering charges involving RM4.3 billion of 1MDB monies.
While the trial for these charges is ongoing, Najib was found guilty by the High Court on July 28, 2020 of abusing his power in relation to the approval of RM4 billion worth of loans from the Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) to SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary of 1MDB.
He was also convicted of three counts each of criminal breach of trust and money laundering involving RM42 million of SRC funds that went into his personal bank accounts between Dec 26, 2014 and Feb 10, 2015.
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