The Attorney-General (AG) Chambers may want to hold a watching brief at the hearing of the civil lawsuits filed by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) on the seizure of assets allegedly misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Mohamed Apandi Ali said he was contemplating to either attend it by himself, send his officers or even appoint a US firm as representative to the hearing.
He would be engaging United States attorneys to assist him on the procedure with regard to the possibility of a Malaysian representative holding a watching brief in the hearing of the lawsuits as the US justice system was totally different from the Malaysian system.
“We can at least register our interest because we heard the US wanted to give money to us,” he explaining on the planned watching brief.
“I am still toying with that idea. But yet to be advised by the American lawyers.”
A watching brief meant that the representatives would attend the hearing of the lawsuit proceedings and listen to whatever transpired in the court and maybe, with the permission of the court, ask a few questions for clarification.
Apandi said 1MDB was a local company and that the Malaysian government naturally had an interest in the lawsuits since there was an indication by the US AG that the DOJ would repatriate the allegedly ill-gotten money to Malaysia.
On July 21, this year, the US DOJ filed lawsuits to seize assets acquired with money allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB, the government’s investment fund.
Meanwhile, de facto Law Minister Azalina Othman Said indicated that Putrajaya would not get involved in the civil suit as it was deemed as a private matter between the US government and the four defendants.
She said her checks showed there was no mention of the government of Malaysia in DOJ report on 1MDB, thus it was not relevant for Malaysian government to directly involved.