Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says judgment should be withheld until all the facts are known after the U.S. government filed lawsuits linked to stolen money from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund.
The lawsuit is seeking to seize 1 billion dollars in assets bought with money stolen from a state fund which Razak allegedly oversaw.
The U.S. Justice Department lawsuits filed in a federal court on Wednesday did not name Rasaq, instead referring to “Malaysian Official 1’’.
“Some of the allegations against this official were the same as those in a Malaysian investigation into a 681 million dollars transfer to the premier’s personal bank account.’’
The lawsuits said 681 million dollars from a 2013 bond sale by sovereign wealth fund 1MDB was transferred to the account of “Malaysian Official 1’’.
A source familiar with the investigation confirmed that “Malaysian Official 1’’ was Rasaq.
Meanwhile back in Malaysia, the hashtag #MalaysianOfficial1 was trending on Thursday.
The civil lawsuits alleged that a total of 3.5 billion dollars was misappropriated from 1MDB, a fund Rasaq established in 2009 and whose advisory board he chaired.
However no criminal charges have been filed.
Federal prosecutors were seeking to seize 1 billion dollars that they said was diverted from 1MDB into luxury real estate in New York, Beverly Hills and London.
They also were trying to seize proceeds from the 2013 film “The Wolf of Wall Street’’, paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet and a private jet.
Riza Aziz, Rasaq’s stepson and founder of Red Granite Pictures, which produced the movie, was named in the lawsuit.
Red Granite replied that none of the funding it received to make the Oscar-nominated film, which took 400 million dollars at the box office worldwide, was illegitimate and nothing the company or Riza did was wrong. (Reuters/NAN)