KUALA LUMPUR: Fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, need not be afraid to return to Malaysia if he feels he is innocent in connection with the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal, says the Inspector-General of Police.
Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said if Low was confident of his innocence, “I am inviting him back so that he can defend himself”.
He was commenting on claims by Low that he had borrowed 1MDB funds and was ready to return it in exchange for not being prosecuted.
“I can even arrange for his (Low) meeting with the Attorney General (AG). I can assure him safe passage, ” Abdul Hamid said.
On whether Low would be prosecuted or otherwise, the country’s top cop said the decision was not under his purview.
“He has to discuss with the AG if he really feels that he is innocent.
“Low is not only wanted by authorities in Malaysia but by authorities in the United States and Singapore as well, ” Abdul Hamid said.
Al Jazeera reported that Low reached out to the previous Pakatan Harapan-led government to avoid charges over the 1MDB scandal.
The news network said he allegedly spoke to government representatives in a series of phone calls from May to November 2018.
Audio clips of his phone conversations were featured in Al Jazeera’s two-part special investigation titled Jho Low: Hunt For A Fugitive.
Al Jazeera said it had privately verified the conversations, which were given to it exclusively.
However, it did not identify whom Low was speaking to from the Malaysian side.
“I want you to convey, if possible to Mahathir (former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad), that I really believe the change in government does present a real opportunity to resolve these 1MDB-related issues. I am committed to achieving that, ” said Low in one of the clips.
He said that in return, he would give up all assets and that the monies would be used to repay 1MDB bonds.
Apart from Malaysia, Low is also wanted by the US Justice Department for criminal offences despite reaching a US$700mil civil suit settlement with them last year.
In the audio clips, Low is heard saying that he wanted the Malaysian government to help him deal with the United States, Singapore and Switzerland over charges he faces in those countries.
He also pinned the blame on former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, claiming that ultimately, he had no authority to make any decision over the sovereign wealth fund.
“It is a pretty known fact that all the approvals have to be approved by the finance minister, ” he said in reference to Najib.
Najib was sentenced to 12 years’ jail and fined RM210mil in July for a case involving SRC International, a 1MDB subsidiary.
Najib, who is currently out on bail while awaiting the outcome of his appeal, is also facing multiple other charges concerning 1MDB.
Low also claimed in the recording that Najib received a donation from the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, but it was only a small portion that ended up in Najib’s personal bank account.
He also said he believed that Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, purchased jewellery worth more than US$500mil using 1MDB funds.
Low, who is from Penang, also claimed that Najib’s son, Ashman, barraged him with text messages, including one which told him not to trust anyone from “the other side” and that a deal would be proposed but it was a “trick”.
Low also absolved himself from any wrongdoing over the scandal.
“I don’t believe there’s any wrongdoing. All these ultimately, were loans – directly or indirectly.
“But ultimately, I think the time has come – we want to assist in repatriating these assets back in return for cooperating and moving on with life without, you know, being prosecuted, ” he said.
He also claimed that it was a very difficult and stressful situation for him.
The Al Jazeera report also said that Low was still able to travel despite Interpol’s red notices on him, supposedly flying from Bangkok to Dubai in a jet in November 2019, stopping for three days in Ahmedabad, India, along the way.
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-my/news/national/igp-assures-jho-low-of-e2-80-98safe-passage-e2-80-99/ar-BB1b6tUB