Swiss to hand over ‘significant evidence’ on RM16.8 billion to Malaysia soon

The Swiss attorney-general’s office would be handing over “significant evidence” of illegal financial transactions involving Malaysian companies to its counterparts here soon, it said in an email, adding that it hoped Malaysia would provide further assistance.

“The OAG is hopeful that our colleagues in Malaysia will examine the evidence we have gathered and provide us with further assistance, as the two attorneys-general agreed last September,” the email from the Office of the Attorney-General of Switzerland (OAG) said.

The OAG said the attorneys-general from both countries agreed to cooperate with one another during their meeting.

OAG head of information Andre Marty said the Swiss A-G’s office has compiled significant evidence of illegal transactions and wrongdoing which would be transmitted to the respective Malaysian authorities in the coming days.

The Malaysian Insider wrote to the OAG for more information on the probe following the Swiss A-G Michael Lauber’s statement on January 30 on the discovery that some US$4 billion (RM16.8 billion) may have been misappropriated from Malaysian state companies.

Marty, however, said the OAG could not divulge further information other than what had been stated in Lauber’s press statement.

Lauber said part of the US$4 billion was transferred to Swiss bank accounts held by former public officials from Malaysia as well as past and present public officials from the United Arab Emirates.

“We have found evidence of suspicious money transfers linked to 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd) going through Swiss financial institutions, and we believe that it is very important that it is shared with the Malaysian authorities,” the Swiss A-G said.

The discovery was made in the course of investigating two former 1MDB officials and others on suspicion of bribery involving foreign public officials.

Malaysian A-G Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali responded to Lauber’s statement the same day, saying he would cooperate with his Swiss counterpart.

But Apandi has also stressed that investigations relating to 1MDB were not the same as the case of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM2.6 billion political donation, which the A-G has declared closed for lack of evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

Lauber’s media statement was criticised by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who said yesterday the Swiss A-G should not have made such findings and his request for Malaysia’s cooperation public.

“By making a public statement, in my opinion, it is not good because it not only strains ties between the two countries, but also creates bias in media reports,” Zahid said, adding that such information should have been conveyed through government-to-government channels.

The OAG, however, has told Malaysiakini that it regarded Zahid’s remarks as a “political statement” and would not be responding to it.

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