Malaysia prosecutor gives clean chit to 1MDB officials on bank report

Malaysia's attorney general said that 1MDB officials had not committed any offence.
Malaysia's attorney general said that 1MDB officials had not committed any offence. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's attorney general said on Thursday (Oct 8) it had reviewed the report of a central bank investigation of the troubled 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state fund and decided that the fund officials had not committed any offence.

"No further action would be taken in the matter," the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) said in a statement. The decision had been communicated to the central bank in September, it added.

The state prosecutor said a request for a further review of the decision by the central bank had also been rejected as no new evidence was made available.

The AGC said that Bank Negara's investigation into 1MDB was focused on an offence under paragraph (4)(b) of Part 1 of the Fifth Schedule to the Exchange Control Act 1953 for recklessly making a statement which is false in a material particular.

"The investigation paper was submitted to the AGC on Aug 21 2015. Having studied the investigation paper, Deputy Solicitor 1 Datuk Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah decided that there was no offence committed by 1MDB officials and directed that no further action should be taken," said the AGC in a statement on Thursday.

The AGC added that the IP returned to Bank Negara on Sept 11.

"However, on Oct 1, Bank Negara sent a letter of request to the AGC to have the decision reviewed. Having considered the request and the fact that there was no new evidence made available, the Attorney General decided to maintain the decision made earlier.

"What has been in the news concerning the Investigation Paper being with the AGC and that discussions were ongoing is inaccurate and not true," said the AGC.

The AGC's statement was issued in response to a statement by the Keeper of the Rulers' Seal on Tuesday in which the Malay Rulers said that Government should complete the investigation into the 1MDB controversy as soon as possible and take “the appropriate stern action” against all found to be implicated.

On Wednesday, former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that until now, no action had been taken against anyone, even after Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz said they had completed their investigations into 1MDB and had handed over their findings to the Attorney-General (A-G) in August.

"If Bank Negara's investigation revealed evidence of an offence, it is the responsibility of the A-G under the Federal Constitution to prosecute those implicated," Muhyiddin was reported saying.

AGC also said the Task Force investigating 1MDB has never been dissolved or disbanded.

"The AGC has never made any statement to that effect. In fact the investigations conducted by the respective agencies were never at any time halted or hindered.

"The Attorney General has been constantly monitoring and giving instructions to the relevant agencies whenever the investigations were referred to the AGC, including instructions to expedite investigations," it said.

"As of today, the Royal Malaysian Police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission have not completed their investigations as the statements of some key witnesses have yet to be recorded," the AGC said.