Tuesday, 23 August 2016

From Sarawak Report:How Jho Low Used 1MDB Cash To Fund Rosmah's Diamond Shopping Sprees


  • 21 August 2016

    More recently designer Natasha Mirpuri has taken on the role as 'buyer' for Rosmah's jewellery purchases, however before her it was Jho Low.
    More recently designerNatasha Mirpuri has taken on the role as ‘buyer’ for Rosmah’s jewellery purchases, however before her it was Jho Low.
    Last month’s filing by the US Department of Justice confirmed the money trail, which had long been suggested by Sarawak Report, linking Jho Low’s mysterious role in funding the ‘First Lady’s’ obsessive diamond shopping with money he stole from 1MDB.

    Our research in Hong Kong, a favourite jewellery haunt of Rosmah Mansor’s, revealed that by 2009 most of the money to settle Rosmah’s bills was coming via Jho Low.

    Insiders from the industry explained to SR that the original ‘link man’ between traders and  Rosmah was the former Malaysian carpet trader Deepak Jaikishan, something that has been extensively exposed and admitted to by Deepak also.

    However, in 2009, after Najib became Prime Minister and set about putting together 1MDB, it was Jho Low who started organising such payments, traders say.

    He was the man to go to and emails seen by Sarawak Report confirm that he utilised his relationship managers at Coutts Bank Singapore for the purpose, including Yak Yew Chee, who moved on to manage the corrupt 1MDB/Jho Low accounts currently being investigated at the now closed Singapore branch of BSI Bank.

    Yak organised transfers for jewellery purchases for Low
    Yak organised transfers for jewellery purchases for Low in 2009
    Sarawak Report earlier revealed how Jho Low’s company Batumba Investments Limited Hong Kong, which was a subsidiary of his then main business Wynton Capital, paid millions of dollars to a subsidiary of the New York jeweller Louis Glick called Rose Trading in Hong Kong to pay for Rosmah’s diamonds.

    Transfer details of one of the payments sent to the relevant dealers
    Transfer details of one of the payments sent to the relevant dealers
    A related email from Jho Low ran ““Hi….please confirm receiving 1 million in total.. Datin is coming to Hong Kong. Do you want to show her more goods?”.

    The transfers were run through Coutts as emails seen by Sarawak Report confirm:
    Fwd Payment advice to Rose Trading USD1,000,000
    From: Lee Julia (RBS Coutts, SG)
    To: jho.low@gmail.com
    Dear Mr Low,
    Julia Lee (attachment)
    Speaking to traders again last week Sarawak Report has confirmed that in late 2009 the series of purchases from Rose Trading had amounted to no less than $3 million.  They added that another $1.7 million was paid to another Hong Kong jewellery outlet called  Firestone.

    DOJ confirm the 1MDB link

    However, it was the DOJ filing last month which tied these purchases directly to money taken from 1MDB via the theft by Jho Low’s company Good Star Limited from the original ‘joint venture’ with the company PetroSaudi.

    Amongst a bacchanal of expenditures towards Jho Low’s gambling and partying was listed that telling payment to Rose Trading:
    “between October 2009 and October 2010, misappropriated 1MDB funds sent from the Good Star Account into the Shearman IOLA Account were transferred as follows: (i) approximately $12,000,000 in wires to Caesars Palace, a Las Vegas casino; (ii) approximately $13,400,000 in wires to the Las Vegas Sands Corp., the owner of the Venetian Las Vegas, another casino; (iii) a wire for approximately $11,000,000 to “Eric” TAN Kim Loong, an associate of LOW; (iv) approximately $4,000,000 in wires to Jet Logic Ltd., a luxury jet rental service; (v) a wire for approximately $3,500,000 to LOW’s sister; (vi) a wire for approximately $3,080,000 to Rose Trading, a Hong Kong jeweler; (vii) approximately $2,698,000 in wires to Yachtzoo, a luxury yacht rental service; (viii) approximately $2,288,000 in wires to Argent Design Ltd., a United Kingdom-based interior designer; (ix) a wire for approximately $670,000 to Excel Air, a jet rental company; (x) approximately $460,000 in wires to Skyline Private Air, an aircraft rental company; and (xi) a wire for approximately $155,000 to Billiyon Air, a jet rental company. [Section 108 DOJ Report]
    From this information we can now join up how the 1MDB ‘investment’ went from Good Star Limited, first to Low’s US lawyer’s client account at Shearman, then eventually to Batumba Investments Limited and then on to Rose Trading.

    “He should remember it’s my money too!”

    The confirmation that Rosmah’s diamonds were bought using 1MDB cash, follows hard on the heels of ourearlier story that she paid for millions of ringgit of beauty treatments also from public money stolen from the 1MDB subsidiary SRC International, which had been funded from a loan from the public pension fund KWAP.

    At the time stories about Jho Low’s gargantuan spending were hitting the news in the US and Malaysia. One confidante of the time has related that Rosmah had exploded on reading some of the coverage:
    “He should remember its my money also!”
    the First Lady angrily exclaimed.  At the time her listeners were not certain as to what she had meant.  But, now everyone knows!

    $600 million yacht for sale – discounts likely

    Major re-fit before sale in Hong Kong?
    Major re-fit before sale in Hong Kong?
    Meanwhile, the Hong Kong press have taken up Sarawak Report’s information that the yacht Equanimity is in the port and on offer for sale.

    The South China Morning Post confirms that the boat has had a major re-fit in their docks and that a local agent has been engaged with a view to an apparent sale.

    All parties say they have been forced to sign non-disclosure agreements, but have indicated that the ‘mystery owner’ of the yacht is eager for a quick sale.

    Although Jho Low has treated the yacht as his own ever since he acquired it in 2013, hosting a massive party to celebrate his own birthday back in November together with a fundraiser for the UN foundation, Sarawak Report asks if perhaps the actual ownership of the boat is also a little more complex than might first appear?

    That the money came from funds stolen from Malaysia can be of little doubt however and the boat ought by rights to be seized and sold by investigators in Hong Kong, who have stated that they are working together with the DOJ and other global agencies who have been working to retrieve 1MDB’s stolen assets on behalf of the Malaysian people.

    It’s a job that Malaysia’s own government has been notably failing to undertake itself.
    Off the coast in Hong Kong
    Off the coast in Hong Kong

    Friday, 19 August 2016

    FROM SARAWAK REPORT:The Link Between 1MDB And The Billion Dollar Nightclub Chain In Vegas

    The Heat Is On Hakkasan - We Reveal The Link Between 1MDB And The Billion Dollar Nightclub Chain In Vegas EXCLUSIVE!

    Hakkasan nightclub promotional
    Hakkasan nightclub promotional
    Sarawak Report has traced crucial evidence linking the Luxembourg bank accounts, which received hundreds of millions of dollars stolen from 1MDB, with the global Hakkasan nightclub and restaurant chain centred in Las Vegas.

    Both the bank accounts, held in the name of Vasco Trust, and Hakkasan are owned by the former Aabar Chairman Khadem Al Qubaisi, who is now the subject of civil seizures of his assets by the US Department of Justice, relating to 1MDB thefts, and also a criminal investigation in Switzerland for suspected “fraud, dishonest management, forgery, money laundering, abuse of public trust and the corruption of foreign officials”.

    Sarawak Report has now established a direct link between Vasco Trust and the Al Qubaisi-owned Tasameem Real Esate Company LLC, which is the shareholder of Hakkasan, meaning that Hakkasan is not ‘ring-fenced’ from 1MDB, as has been claimed by the managers of Hakkasan.

    In fact one of Vasco’s subsidiaries (Vasco Strategic Fund) was even re-named to become an affiliate of Tasameem (Tasameem Strategic Fund) and it has been managed throughout by Khadem’s key bank manager cum company director, the former Edmond de Rothschild Luxembourg Bank CEO, Marc Ambroisien (who was registered as a Director as late as November 2015, according to BVI court documents).
    Vasco Strategic Fund has become part of the Tasameem group of companies, providing a link in the money trail from 1MDB to Hakkasan, which is owned by Tasameem Real Estate Company
    Vasco Strategic Fund (whose Director is Marc Ambroisien) changed name to become part of the Tasameem group of companies, providing a link in the money trail from 1MDB to Hakkasan.
    The name switch provides a direct link between the Vasco account, which received all its money from 1MDB in 2012/13 and Tasameem, which by 2016 had registered a $566 million shareholder loan facility to its subsidiary Hakkasan.

    Indeed Hakkasan’s 2013 accounts, signed off by Al Qubaisi himself, show that by the end of 2013 the Hakkasan Group had already received $266,000,000 in ‘shareholder loans’ from its parent company, which was cited as Tasameem, which is itself also owned by Al Qubaisi:
    By 2016 the amount owed to Shareholders had increased to $566 million, according to the accounts
    By 2016 the amount owed to Shareholder Tasameem had increased to $566 million, according to the accounts
    2013 was the year during which the nightclub chain rapidly expanded with its first key acquisitions in Las Vegas, starting with the Omnia nightclub having opened in April.

    Records show the case was filed by Marc Ambroisien in November 2015, as which point he described himself as a Director of Vasco/Tasameem Strategic Fund
    Records show the case was filed by Marc Ambroisien in November 2015, when he described himself as a Director of Vasco/Tasameem Strategic Fund

    How Vasco Strategic Fund SPC (Caymans)  became Tasameem Strategic Fund (BVI)

    We revealed 'KAQ's' other life and his love of clubbing
    We revealed ‘KAQ’s’ other life and his love of clubbing
    It was Sarawak Report which originally revealed in March last year that over $500 million had been transferred into Khadem Al Qubaisi’s private account, under the name of Vasco Trust, at the Edmond de Rothschild Banque Privee Europe (BPERE) in Luxembourg.

    Some of that money was then transferred to the US to buy Al Qubaisi’s Walker Tower penthouse in New York and a Beverley Hills mansion, for which the DOJ have issued a seizure notices.

    The Vasco money all came from Jho Low entities, including Good Star Limited and an apparently fictitious character named ‘Prince Faisal bin Turkey bin Bandar Alsaud’, which was also used to send money to Najib in KL.

    The original funds transferred from 1MDB into Khadem Al Qubaisi's Vasco Trust account in Luxembourg
    The original payments into the Vasco Trust account, which were all transferred from 1MDB via Aabar’s Falcon Bank and Jho Low companies like Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners
    However, most of the money acquired by Vasco came from a bogus BVI company named Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners, which the DOJ indictment last month specifically confirmed received $473 million stolen from the two 1MDB ‘power purchase’ loans raised in 2012, using a ‘guarantee’ provided by Al Qubaisi’s Aabar fund in Abu Dhabi.

    The DOJ indictment spells out exactly how the power purchase money was stolen - much of it going to the Vasco Trust account
    The DOJ indictment spells out exactly how the power purchase money was stolen – much of it going to the Vasco Trust account – this is our pictorial representation of the information
    The DOJ have explained in detail how $1.367 was misappropriated from the two power purchase loans raised in May and October of 21012 totalling $3.5 billion, during the so-called ‘Aabar-BVI Phase’ of the billion dollar 1MDB scam.

    Falcon Bank was this week barred by Singapore from conducting future business, owing to its role over 1MDB
    Falcon Bank was this week barred by Singapore from conducting future business, owing to its role over 1MDB
    As shown in the diagram, Goldman Sachs, which had raised the money, first sent the lion’s share of the cash directly to 1MDB accounts held at Falcon Bank in Singapore, which was itself a subsidiary of the Aabar sovereign wealth fund of which Khadem Al Qubaisi (KAQ) was Chairman.

    KAQ’s deputy Mohammed Al Husseiny was at the time Chairman of Falcon Bank.

    Of this money a total of $1.4 billion was transferred on to the now notorious bogus ‘Aabar BVI’ account, which was held at BSI Bank in Lugano. BSI has already also been shut by Singapore.

    Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi IPIC sovereign wealth fund, of which the genuine Aabar is a subsidiary, has confirmed it had no knowledge of the diversion of this cash, which had been paid under the guise of it being a ‘refundable deposit’ for the ‘guarantee’ arranged by Aabar for the loans.

    Neil Moffitt, CEO of Hakkasan, has claimed there is no 1MDB money in the group
    Neil Moffitt, CEO of Hakkasan, has claimed there is no 1MDB money in the group
    From this moment on the money was effectively stolen and the theft could not have taken place without the connivance of KAQ and Husseiney, who were in charge of the genuine Aabar as well as being the shareholders and signatories for the bogus Aabar BVI.

    The money was then passed mainly to another bogus company, Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners, this time controlled by Jho Low.

    Some also went to Najib’s step-son Riza Aziz’s film production company Red Granite.

    From Blackstone, it has been established that around one third of the stolen cash was transferred to Al Qubaisi’s Vasco Trust by early 2013.

    The Edmond de Rothschild head banker who oversaw the deal

    Marc Ambroisien - now fired from de Rothschild and this week at last resigning from KAQ's private ventures also
    Marc Ambroisien – now fired from de Rothschild and this week at last resigning from KAQ’s private ventures also
    The man who smoothed the path for this enormous sum of money was the Edmond de Rothschild CEO, Marc Ambroisien, who told KAQ in a recorded phone call that any other bank “like HSBC” would have frozen and reported such a suspicious series of transfers.
    However, he was prepared to fix it and could do so, given his position at the private De Rothschild bank.

    One week after Sarawak Report reported the existence of the Vasco Trust account in March 2015, Ambriosien, a former French tax inspector, left his position at the Bank Privee Edmond de Rothschild.
    However, for over a year he remained managing ‘KAQ’s’ private ventures.

    Ambroisien was fired from Edmond de Rothschild, but stayed on managing KAQ's companies
    Ambroisien was fired from Edmond de Rothschild, but stayed on managing KAQ’s companies
    Until just days ago Ambroisien was a Director in charge of a web of Vasco related companies, according to company information in France and elsewhere. Various arms of the Trust have controlled different interests for Khadem Al Qubaisi.
    Of particular relevance to the Hakkasan empire was a so-called umbrella investment arm called Vasco Strategic Fund SPC, originally incorporated in the Cayman Islands in 2011.
    Vasco Strategic Fund was incorporated in 2011
    Vasco Strategic Fund was incorporated in 2011
    Sarawak Report has obtained back statements relating to KAQ’s Vasco Trust, which include transactions by Vasco Strategic Fund, dating back to its ‘setting up fees’ in February 2011.
    KAQ's Vasco Trust statements include payments relating to Vasco Strategic Fund
    KAQ’s Vasco Trust statements include payments relating to Vasco Strategic Fund

    The Tasameem Connection

    Court documents available from the BVI show that late last year the former Edmond de Rothschild CEO Marc Ambroisien made an application on behalf of a separate company (Ourea S.A.) in his capacity as a Director of Tasameem Strategic Fund.

    The document makes clear throughout that Tasameem Strategic Fund BVI was formerly Vasco Strategic Fund in the Cayman Islands.
    In November 2015 Marc Ambroisien remained a Director of Tasameem Strategic Fund, linked directly to the trust which received hundreds of millions from 1MDB
    In November 2015 Marc Ambroisien remained a Director of Tasameem Strategic Fund, linked directly to the trust which received hundreds of millions from 1MDB
    While Ambroisien was no longer acting for KAQ’s de Rothschild bank accounts by this date in November 2015, he was still managing many of KAQ’s private interests. He appears to have started resigning from those positions in favour of his boss only in the last few days (see below). Khadem Al Qubaisi, meanwhile remained the Chairman of Hakkasan right up until April of this year.

    Ambroisien only resigned from KAQ's private companies, such as this French property company, a few days ago
    Ambroisien only resigned from KAQ’s private companies, such as this French property company, a few days ago
    Plainly, therefore, Vasco and Tasameem have been linked to the same sources of income and the same management.

    Tasameem still owns Hakkasan, according to its public accounts filed in the UK in May this year (which were signed off by the new Board members appointed after Khadem Al Qubaisi resigned April 19th).


    Sarawak Report therefore questions claims by Hakkasan that its investments are ‘ring-fenced’ from money stolen from 1MDB and that there is no connection between the entertainment group and its owner (KAQ’s) other financial interests.

    Hakkasan’s accounts, which are filed at Companies House in London, state specifically that the owner of the company is Tasameem Real Estate Company, which along with other affiliated companies of the same name belong to Al Qubaisi.

    New board member, Senator Norm Coleman - says he checked out Hakkasan and can vouch there is no 1MDB cash
    New board member, Senator Norm Coleman –   can he vouch there is no 1MDB cash?
    The accounts also specify that much of the investment into the group has come from a $566 million ‘shareholder loan’ provided by Tasameem.

    In fact, the expenditures into the Hakkasan group are estimated to have been well over a billion dollars since it began its massive and rapid expansion, beginning with the opening of the Omnia nightclub in Vegas in April 2013.

    Since it is now established that a subsidiary of Vasco Trust subsequently became an affiliate of Tasameem, both managed by the former bank manager who managed Khadem Al Qubaisi’s affairs (until he finally resigned a few days ago), it is plain that there are indeed direct links between Hakkasan and Khadem’s 1MDB funded operations, meaning money could have flowed between them.

    Troubling timelines

    The concerns about Hakkasan’s more than abundant sources of cash are heightened by some troubling timelines.  The Hakkasan brand was bought up by KAQ as a relatively small restaurant concern in London in 2007 for £69 million.

    In early 2013 the major expansion into the Vegas nightclub scene began – just a few months after the millions started arriving into the Vasco Trust from 1MDB.

    As late as last month the group was still promoting its on-going expansion and also the fact that it is still owned by Tasameem:

    The Holmes Report July 2016
    The Holmes Report July 2016
    Given that Sarawak Report has already established that Khadem Al Qubaisi, together with his brother owns Tasameem Real Estate Company and that he is the sole shareholder of its affiliateTasameem Investment S.A. BVI, there remains the question as to how a salaried fund manager obtained $566 million to invest as a shareholder loan in this nightclub company?

    Latest 2015 accounts show the current shareholder loan is $566 million
    Latest 2015 accounts show the current shareholder loan is $566 million
    Sarawak Report believes, therefore, that the global investigators who are examining Mr Quabaisi’s financial affairs ought soon to be turning their interest to Hakkasan’s billion dollar business.
    KAQ signed off Hakkasan's 2013 accounts
    KAQ signed off Hakkasan’s 2013 accounts

    Monday, 8 August 2016

    FROM SARAWAK REPORT: As Najib Denies All Over 1MDB, Let's Not Forget His Many Other Criminal Connections

    Najib has claimed on TV that the US indictment did not involve him nor 1MDB:
    “I want to say that what was done by the DOJ recently does not involve me, or the Malaysian government, or 1MDB directly….This is not a criminal suit, but a civil suit… but it has been politicised by certain enemies”. [Najib on Indonesian Metro TV]
    Contrast the above with the actual indictment by the DOJ, which in fact refers to criminal actions throughout, although it has instituted civil action to forfeit proceeds of crime in the United States.  For example:
    “.. multiple individuals, including public officials and their associates, conspired to fraudulently divert billions of dollars from 1MDB through various means, including by defrauding foreign banks and by sending foreign wire communications in furtherance of the scheme, and thereafter, to launder the proceeds of that criminal conduct, including in and through U.S. financial institutions”.[‘Nature of the Action’ Point 6, DOJ Indictment]
    It doesn’t get plainer that that.  From the above you can see that the DOJ indictment implicates public officials in Malaysia (specified as being led by Najib) in criminally and fraudulently stealing billions from 1MDB and then criminally  laundering the money.

    The suit does involve Najib.  It does involve 1MDB. It does allege criminal behaviour and major fraud:
    “The criminal conduct alleged herein occurred in three principal phases: The “Good Star” Phase… The “Aabar-BVI” Phase …. The “Tanore” Phase…  The proceeds of each of these three phases of criminal conduct were laundered through a complex series of transactions, including through bank accounts in Singapore, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and the United States.” [DOJ indictment]
    As for that “Tanore Phase”, the DOJ gets very personal indeed with regard to the Prime Minister (termed ‘Malaysian Official 1′) who we all know admitted over a year ago to receiving US$681 million into his private AmBank account from Tanore Finance Corporation, claiming it had been a ‘donation’ from an anonymous ‘Saudi Royal’ towards his 2013 election campaign.

    This is what the DOJ has to say about that money and there is zero reference to any Saudi Royal:
    Shortly after proceeds of the 2013 bond sale were diverted to the Tanore Account, $681,000,000 was sent from the Tanore Account to a bank account belonging to MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1.
    On or about March 21, 2013, Tanore transferred $620,000,000 into an account at AmBank in Malaysia, whose beneficiary was listed as “AMPRIVATE BANKING-MR.” On or about March 25, 2013, an additional $61,000,000 was wired from the Tanore Account to the same account at AmBank, for a total of $681,000,000.
    This account belonged to MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1 and is the same account that in 2011 received $20 million from the PETROSAUDI CO-FOUNDER that was traceable to the Good Star Account, as set forth in Section II.G. It is also the same account that in 2012 received at least $30 million from the Blackstone Account that was traceable to the Aabar-BVI Swiss Account and the 2012 bond proceeds, as set forth in Section III.E.3. [Section 259-61 of DOJ indictment]
    So, when Najib appears on TV and says he has not been implicated in the DOJ report and that nothing criminal has been alleged, who can believe him?

    Najib’s ‘Pirate Government’

    Unfortunately, this pampered son of a former Prime Minister has got away with far too much for far too long and he seems to think he can treat this as merely another skirmish, whether anyone believes him or not.

    He has boasted of his ‘proud pirate (Bugis) ancestry’ and those around Malaysia’s ‘First Couple’ privately confide they have nicknamed them Bonnie & Clyde.  Najib should probably be dubbed ‘The Cover-up Kid’ given his list of scandals, all “fixed” by tame officials and judges – more of which shortly .

    Yet, all gangster stories end in flames and with the DOJ findings it is plain to most players now that this particular pair have reached their last shoot out. Pumped up with adrenalin (and hormones too) the question is whether they themselves have yet absorbed the realities of their situation?

    The couple have told their teamsters that they can still brazen this out and come out stronger, emergency legislation now to hand. Rosmah is on the phone all day long, report insiders, calling all their ministers to step out and speak up in support.  The few who have done so either have no political future or plainly don’t care if they once did.

    “Mrs 10%” – What western bankers dubbed Rosmah!

    1MDB is just the latest episode in a political career that should rightly have ended long before Najib Razak got anywhere near the top job.  He was already tarnished for all to see.

    For years Najib was a notorious Minister of Defence, for which western governments and arms sales must take their share of blame. It was, as always, the Malaysian people who paid the price for pumped-up prices – Rosmah was never far away and never accepted a commission of less than 10%, insiders say.

    For example, one senior French banker from a major Asian division reminisces how in 2009 in the Presidential Suite at the 5 Star Plaza Athene Hotel in Paris he witnessed procedures at the close of one such major deal.

      “Najib moved rooms so that the ‘commission’ could be dealt with and he observed a large suitcase stuffed with millions of dollars being offered to  Malaysia’s Defence Minister“, says a source.  “In turn, Najib waived to staff to take it to another nearby room …… where Rosmah was waiting. Within minutes, she was out of the place, police escort in tow, sirens wailing, to the diamond shops of the Faubourg St Honore“.

    No wonder Najib acts bewildered to find how times have changed.  “These things are done more quietly” he complained of the US action last week.

    Even the French have named him in separate legal action as the suspected recipient of kickbacks over the  Scorpene submarine scandal. 

     Najib has told Malaysians, of course, that he has not been named, but look at how it was reported in the French press:
    “The ex-president of a subsidiary of Thales, is suspected of having corrupted the present Prime Minister of Malaysia.  Bernard Bioco, 72, ex-president of Thales Int Asia was put under criminal investigation on 15th sept 2014 concerning bribery of foreign public officials namely Najib Razak, the then Minister of Defence and one of his advisers Abdul Razak Baginda” [Le Point and other newspapers]
    Suspected of bribing Najib over Scorpene... French court investigation
    Suspected of bribing Najib over Scorpene… French court investigation
    Attached to this murky submarine story is the well-known shocking murder of the translator on the deal, Altantuya Shaariibuu (who had threatened to reveal information on those very kickbacks).

    Najib was comprehensively demonstrated over the subsequent court proceeding as having been up to his eyes in a legal cover-up, revelations that ought to have ended the career of any politician.

    Instead the blame has been put on the shoulders of two of his own bodyguards, who were instructed to kill Altantuya by someone still anonymous and who languish in jail facing sentence of death.

    Too many followers - Najib lied about his role in Anwar's conviction
    Too many followers – Najib lied about his role in Anwar’s conviction


    But, there is another more current and pressing scandal that Malaysians should no longer continue to tolerate now their Prime Minister has been demonstrated so comprehensively to be a major thief and liar.  That, of course, is the continued incarceration of Malaysia’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, in a case that was cooked up by Najib from beginning to end.

    The evidence is overwhelming that Malaysia’s present Prime Minister was up to his neck in the conspiracy to accuse the man who most threatened him politically of a crime designed to lose him the greatest possible political support.

    And Najib has been caught out lying over and again over this involvement.
    For this reason alone the plainly politically motivated prosecution ought to have been thrown out of court…. and indeed so it was. After a vicious and protracted trial Anwar was resoundingly acquitted in the High Court.

    However, Najib was not prepared to accept an acquittal of his political enemy, particularly since Anwar had just won the majority of votes at the General Election. 

     The PM ordered an Appeal against that acquittal and then he ordered a conviction – the hand-picked judiciary at the top of Malaysia’s eroded judicial system complied with this irregular request, a sad indicator of the country’s institutional decline.

    Najib changed his story, not once but twice

    Consider how disgraceful the main facts of this case are, from the evidence in court.

    Months and years of dragged out legal wrangling have conveniently blurred memories and confused foreign observers of the case, for Najib.

     However, it has been firmly established that Najib himself met the ‘victim’ at his house shortly before the complaint of sodomy was filed in June 2008, just after Anwar had caused shock waves with a landslide towards the opposition in the March election.

    At first the Prime Minister lied and said he had not ever met the young worker from Anwar’s office.  But, when a photograph appeared showing the man inside Najib’s home he changed his story and explained that Mohd Saiful had pitched up three months earlier to talk about student grants (as one does with the then deputy Prime Minister).

    In fact Saiful was already a student drop-out, although he had been active in BN while at college before applying to join Anwar’s team just before the March election.

    It was only after Saiful admitted under court questioning that he had discussed the issue of   alleged sodomy with Najib in his house in June, just a two days before the alleged incident, that the DPM changed his story for a third time and admitted that he had indeed discussed the matter with Saiful and that yes, the lawyer and later prosecutor on the case Shafee Abdullah was also in the house at the time.

    Najib acknowledged in this third version of events that he had advised Saiful to go and lodge a police report.

    Saiful also admitted under further questioning that the day before the alleged incident he had also held a secret meeting with a police chief in the Concord Hotel in KL. Assistant Commissioner Rodwan Mohd Yusof had a long grudge against Anwar, who accused him of framing him during his previous arrest and imprisonment.  Again the case was not thrown out.

    Even so, it was two days after his visit to Anwar’s house and the alleged incident took place that Saiful took himself first to a private clinic to complain of sodomy.  The doctor could find no evidence of interference, but when Saiful complained there had been crime involved the doctor sent him for full examination at a public hospital.

    The doctors at the public hospital could find no evidence of any interference either, as would have been expected, but since Saiful claimed he had not washed or defecated in the two days since the alleged incident they took sample to check for DNA.

    There was great mystery and confusion over what happened next as delay in the arrival and analysis of these samples appears to have occurred, according to Australian barrister Mark Trowell who has written about what he describes as a travesty of a legal case.  The prosecution refused to provide details about how they acquired and processed their ‘evidence’.

    The entire case was conducted against a backdrop of politicking and further accusations of a sexual nature against Anwar by BN, this time allegedly involving a female prostitute and a video without a properly identifiable face.

    Unsurprisingly, after months of this nonsense the High Court Judge through out the prosecution and acquitted Anwar.  In any normal country that would have been the end of the matter, as the process of appeal is reserved for the defendant and not the prosecutor, who has failed to prove his case to the judge and jury (sadly the latter institution was abolished in Malaysia).

    But, in Malaysia no. Najib was by this time Prime Minister and he drove through an appeal by the prosecution to the higher courts, where BN have control over top appointments. Over the next two years and in the aftermath of a triumphant 2013 election result by Anwar Najib got the judges of the Federal Court to present the judgement he was after – a guilty verdict that would force his foe from politics.

    That night a sick and sickened pilot drove his plane out over the Indian Ocean and ditched it in – Najib should take his share of the blame for that as well.

    Are Malaysians to sit an tolerate a situation where a disgraced thief and liar has succeeded in driving the opposition leader into jail in a case he masterminded himself from start to finish? 

     To be even more sure of controlling the case, the self-same Shafee Abdullah, Najib’s close legal associate, who attended that first meeting with the ‘victim to be’ in Najib’s house, unaccountably replaced the normal prosecution barristers on the case as a private prosecutor hired by the government during the final appeal hearings.

    Najib has worked to exploit the leaderless situation confronting the opposition ever since and BN/UMNO smugly talk of divisions faced by the party they deliberately decapitated. He has gone on to “woo” the PAS Islamic party away from the opposition coalition in the normal way he woos – RM90 million is widely reckoned to have flowed into the top echelons of PAS in recent months (BN veterans would tell them they came cheap).

    To sugar matters further for PAS, Najib has gone on a crusade to show himself ‘more holy than thou’ on every PAS religious agenda, stirring up extremism in Malaysia and undermining civil law and institutions, without turning a single hair over the destabilising, divisive and dangerous consequences to his country and his own party.

    He thinks it’s clever. If a man has no charisma to attract his followers he buys them, whatever it takes.

    Najib’s next target it the other powerful centre of political opposition, which is the well-run DAP party, which enjoys a strong support for its reputation for integrity.  The Prime Minister has adopted his preferred technique of legal persecution, abusing all his powers to accuse DAP’s leader of the crime with which he himself is most associated, corruption.

    Malaysia now faces the spectacle of their own most corrupted world leader, caught out stealing billions, going after a state leader over paltry and flimsy accusations of an alleged cheap deal to buy his modest house.

    With Guan Eng in jail alongside Anwar, PAS on the pay-roll, all his critics sacked and his emergency powers in place, Najib plainly reckons he can pull off another “election win”.

    Can Malaysians tolerate more of this and more graft and squander by his pumped up, hormone abusing wife?

    No wonder Najib’s own family, his former patron Dr Mahathir and so many others from his own BN party (none saints themselves) have fallen away in shock and disgust from this man supposedly ‘born to lead’. They know him best.

    Malaysians should team up to reject Najib.  Next they can fight for reform.