1MDB asset forfeiture: Lawyer says no evidence linking money in Najib’s AmBank accounts to properties seized from residence

Tania Scivetti (Photo by Shahrin Yahya/The Edge)

KUALA LUMPUR (April 23): Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib’s attorney Tania Scivetti said today that the prosecution’s foreclosure against Najib must be dismissed as there is no evidence that the property confiscated from his residence along Jalan Langgak Duta has been linked to the alleged development of 1Malaysia Bhd (1MDB) -related money in its AmBank accounts.

Scivetti told Supreme Court Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan today that prosecutors have been unable to demonstrate how the funds transferred to Najib’s AmBank accounts are related to properties pulled out during a police raid in 2018 Najib’s apartment was confiscated.

News reported that the items seized included handbags, watches and foreign currency.

In today’s High Court, Scivetti said: “Before this Honorable Court there is no evidence at all that the property seized is the proceeds of illegal activity.”

She said prosecutors hadn’t produced any evidence that the money on Najib’s AmBank accounts had been converted into foreign currencies.

If there had been such a currency conversion transaction, prosecutors should have justified their investigation with details of money changers, bankers and receipts that assisted in converting the funds.

Scivetti also cited, citing Police Chief Foo Wei Min’s testimony, that there was no connection between the alleged 1MDB funds in Najib’s AmBank accounts and the confiscated luxury watches.

According to Scivetti, Foo’s statement included in the prosecution’s written submissions on the case revealed that his investigations revealed the transfer of alleged 1MDB-tied funds to the bank accounts of several foreign companies and that the money was being used to purchase luxury handbags and bags Clocks.

However, Scivetti said Foo did not produce any evidence to prove the link between the watches and the alleged 1MDB funds.

“Likewise, there were no receipts to link the seized watches and jewelry to the bank statements issued by Superintendent Foo,” she said.

Scivetti also cited, citing the prosecution’s statements, that there were significant gaps in the alleged 1MDB money trail and that the Chief Deputy Police Commissioner (SAC) Rajagopal Ramadhass had failed to prove that a crime had been committed.

She said there was no documentary evidence such as bank statements from 1MDB, Good Star Ltd, 1MDB Energy Ltd, Aabar BVI and other companies listed on the money trail to show that the money that ended up in Najib’s AmBank accounts came from 1MDB.

Based on what the prosecution said, Scivetti said the prosecution’s foreclosure action against Najib must be dismissed.