“There is currently no action against 1MDB. Only against properties thought to have been procured using money belonging to 1MDB,” said Thomas C Goldstein, Advocate Appellate, US Supreme Court said when asked about the civil forfeiture action against 1MDB.
Tom Goldstein was answering question raised during his talk on “Criminal Litigation in the United States of America” at the UiTM Faculty of Law today.
He said that based on the US Constitution, no one should be deprived of their assets without due process of the law, and all due processes of the law must have a hearing concluded before assets can be forfeited.
“The DoJ, based on the complaint, is just tracing the money and think it may be linked to 1MDB. Right now, there is no suggestionof any criminal target,” he added.
Tom Goldstein is one of the US’s most experienced Supreme Court practitioners and his representations span virtually all of the US Federal Law.
As arguing counsel in the Court, Tom has prevailed in cases involving arbitration, bankruptcy, civil procedure, disability law, employment discrimination, the Fourth Amendment, free speech, habeas corpus, immigration, labour, securities, and trademarks.
When asked to whom would the DoJ return the seized money to, Tom explained that the issue has put the DoJ in limbo as the 1MDB has said that the money is not theirs, whereas the case is based on money taken from 1MDB, made by complainants that do not represent 1MDB.
“The DoJ has recently to put on hold civil forfeiture lawsuits against assets acquired (by Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low), because pursuing these may have “an adverse effect” on its ability to conduct the criminal investigation.What the DoJ is doing is it is trying to prevent the money from dissipating by starting a criminal action,” Tom explained. “But right now there is very little activity pertaining to the case and no one has been named as criminal targets.”
Asked if this (that 1MDB says the money is not theirs) is the reason it has taken the DoJ so long to actually initiate something, he answered with a simple, “Yes.”
“A huge amount of money made its way into the US, and the DoJ is interested to know where is the source of this money. It is not a criminal case and an escalation into one will only make life more difficult for them as there has been no precedent. No one has been named in the civil forfeiture suit. If a criminal case were to be developed then it would be a classical criminal case and the burden of proof falls on the DoJ that it has to prove beyond reasonable doubt that crime has been committed,” Tom added.
In addition to practicing law, Tom has taught Supreme Court Litigation at Harvard Law School since 2004, and previously taught the same subject at Stanford Law School for nearly a decade.
Tom is also the co-founder of SCOTUSblog – a website devoted to comprehensive coverage of the Court – which is the only weblog ever to receive the Peabody Award.
The above title consists of the very words that are being used by the Opposition, from the days of the Barisan Alternatif through its current form, the Pakatan Harapan.
Those words remain as their battle cry to convince voters that the Barisan Nasional, in particular UMNO, is corrupted to the core.
Hence, when long before 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion story ever happened Najib Razak announced in 2012 that the BN was to have its candidates’ list for GE13 screened by the MACC, everyone treated that as a sign of the end of the world as predicted by the Mayans.
However, the Barisan Nasional did submit its list of election candidates to the MACC recently, whereas it is the Opposition that has been resisting a similar move!
In an attempt to spin the BN’s move into something negative, left-leaning The Malaysian Incite quoted unnamed sources within UMNO lamenting the arrest of BN figures such as Latif Bandi, Isa Samad et al but failed to mention that that is the same reaction that the PKR and DAP gave when their ranks were arrested for corruption.
Well, my unnamed party insider told me even BEFORE the Haj season that the BN supreme council is happy that far lesser people have thronged the PWTC promoting themselves as GE14’s candidates ever since Najib Razak decided to submit the list to the MACC.
The Pakatan Harapan is far from being clean. Cheats and corrupted people thrive there too with the likes of Adam Rosly, the UNISEL scandal, Chegu Bard’s various reports on corrupted practices by Azmin Ali, the investigation into DAP’s corrupt practices that resulted in the death of Teoh Beng Hock, Phee Boon Poh’s abuse of position, Lim Guan Eng’s double corruption charge, just to name a few.
Let us also not forget chronic liar Rafizi Ramli who was not only found guilty of lying but also for disclosing to the public contents of documents protected under the Laws which is a breach of trust by a Parliamentarian whose job is to protect such trusts.
Recently he was exposed to have been paying himself through his own companies for services rendered to his own company in the region of RM100,000 per transaction. He also solicited funds from the public to help him pay for damages he caused the NFC by publishing lies about them.
Yet, he did not pay up as ordered by the court and chose to allow NFC to file a bankruptcy notice against him. We wonder what happened to the millions of Ringgits collected to pay NFC? Did he use the money to pay his own self?
Yet the PKR chose to protect such compulsive criminals within their ranks thinking that the voters of today have the same IQ as the ones in the 1950s, that they are stupid enough to judge. Hence the reaction by Wan Azizah when the MACC suggested for PKR’s candidates be screened by the latter.
DAP, too, reacted negatively towards the MACC’s suggestion. Pulau Pinang’s Deputy Chief Minister Ramasamy a/l Palanisamy said that the MACC cannot vet the DAP’s candidates list as the former lacks the moral authority to do so as it is reticent about those involved in the 1MDB although they have been named by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).
Again this shows the stupidity of the people in the Pakatan Harapan either by defaut or by design, with the latter perhaps trying to make fools out of their supporters.
Furthermore, the case that is being investigated by the DoJ, made public more than a year ago, has not gained much grounds as it is based on the reports made by Datuk Botox and Matthias Chang, the office and despatch boys of U-Turn Mahathir. If it was a solid criminal case, we would be sitting in front of the TV watching CNN while stuffing our face with popcorn.
The party that has a lot to do with corruption thus refusing the MACC’s help to clean its candidates list is the DAP, and not just the PKR. With Phee Boon Poh, Lim Guan Eng and maybe soon others as well, both the PKR and DAP would have a very short list of candidates that it will not be enough to cover the constituencies it already holds even if all of them ran for both Parliamentary and state seats.
That is also why Lim Guan Eng desperately clings on to power and fights on all corners to have his corruption charges dismissed on technical reasons rather than answering the charges made against him, just as long as he could remain as the corrupted but jail-free Chief Minister.
But of course, in the course of trying to discredit the MACC, Pakatan Harapan would throw everything at the MACC including the kitchen sink and onions too, a tactic they have been using against all government agencies since before the 1969 general elections. When they lose, they will automatically blame the voters and the voting system. Then again, what else is new?
This is why the public needs to rally its support towards having cleaner candidates to run for public office. Although there is nothing in the law that says that candidates must be vetted, the MACC is the agency that should be doing the vetting of candidates to ensure that they do not have the tendency to be corrupted.
Having said that, this is also the reason the MACC should be given more manpower and remuneration reviewed, as should the PDRM, instead of having Paul Low’s JITN to be formed as a new department, burdening the government further with an increased budget.
My take on yesterday morning’s press conference where the group of 6 spoke against SOSMA being used on Mahathir’s running dogs.
1) Mahathir now publicly admits that Dato Sri Najib has telor (balls).
Not only has Najib dismissed the two unlucky persons sitting on the right of him from cabinet, Mahathir also admits that Najib is brave enough to throw two of his idiots in jail – Mr Botox and Mr Fast-Until-Death-For-Eight-Days-Only.
The two were hit by SOSMA and charged under Section 124(L) of the Penal Code for passing unverified OSA documents to foreign agencies in their round-the-world trip to no less than half a dozen countries – and in the process, have hurt our country’s economic sentiments and our Ringgit.
“Roti Telor Satu!”
They were not held for speaking out against the government as Mahathir alleges. If this was indeed the case, Anina, Tony Pua and even Mahathir himself would already be held under SOSMA. Perhaps, Mahathir was trying to equate the arrest of the two to the hundreds of detentions without trial he prescribed during his 22-year dictatorship. Those were the years when, as Mahathir aptly describes, no one was arrested under the ISA for making a police report – because no one dared to make any police report against him for fear of being incarcerated.
2) Mahathir also brought Ku Li – who has stated that this is his last term as MP – just to tell the world that a vote of no confidence against Najib will not succeed. Ku Li also subtly took a swipe at Mahathir for introducing the self-serving system that is now protecting Najib.
3) Mahathir is also telling the world that he has failed to protect the people who trusted him – either they are in jail or they lost their job and is now in political wilderness.
Mahathir is essentially sending out the message that he has failed those who trusted him. Who else would want to listen to the old fart now?
Mahathir also appears to be saying he is now afraid of Najib. And that Najib may even be brave enough to act against him. Much like how Mahathir acted against his seniors in the past such as Tunku Abdul Rahman and Hussein Onn.
4) Mahathir brought Sanusi Junid and Ong Tee Keat to send a message that the only persons willing to support him now are those frustrated politicians of the past.
Sanusi Junid left UMNO in 2008 and consequently lost his prestigious post of UIAM president. He also did not get a chance to defend his seat in the 2013 General Elections. He remains in the political wilderness.
Ong Tee Keat became the shortest lived MCA president (he lasted just 17 months) when he lost to Chua Soi Lek despite Chua having a sex-scandal on him. He was also dropped unceremoniously in the 2013 elections. Later in the year, he was crushed in his bid for MCA presidency and came a distant last out of three candidates.
He, however remains as the chairman of Yayasan Bakti Nusa Malaysia, a NGO he founded whose head office is above the local 7-11 in Pandan Jaya.
Ong too remains in the political wilderness and unable to garner any support.
5) The smartest person here who did not attend appears to be long-time Mahathir supporter Tun Daim who refuses to appear in public with this bunch of frustrated leaders since he knows that Tun M can no longer defend him from harm.
Tun Daim is smart enough to stay away and not put his rumoured billions of ringgit wealth in jeopardy.
And that is my understanding of what Mahathir was actually trying to say yesterday morning.
“Jom balik! Chek tak mau dah tengok muka Najib. Apa hat Chek dok buat kat dia semua dok kena tang hidung mamak chek!“
It seems that Matthias Chang, who was earlier arrested under SOSMA as his selfie-crazed sidekick was, has gone on yet another hunger strike.
“I CALL UPON ALL OF YOU TO GO ON A HUNGER STRIKE WITH ME (NO FOOD OR WATER WHATSOEVER) TO DEMONSTRATE THAT WE ARE WILLING TO DIE FOR OUR RESPECTIVE CAUSES. The person who has died during his / her hunger strike shall be declared a VICTOR for his cause.” said Matthias.
This is not the first time Chang, the closest goon to Mahathir arrested by the authorities thus far, has gone on a “hunger strike.” The last time Matthias Chang went on hunger strike was in 2010 when he sued American Express for cancelling his credit cards, which he lost.
Then he scolded the judge and went to jail for one month and started a hunger strike in protest. I was told then that it wasn’t a real hunger strike but rather he avoided solid food.
What is interesting is that his arrest came 20 days after his sidekick Mr Botox, was arrested initially under the Penal Code. Therefore, this isn’t a blitz but more on acting upon more solid evidence perhaps spilt by Mr Botox himself.
Like his master who now worships the Shiahs, Chang started blurting out religious rhetoric:
“ARRESTED LAWYER SAYS JESUS, ALLAH, MOTHER KALI AND TAOIST GODS WILL PROTECT HIM.”
Okay. He must be a psycho. Hopefully he gets his wish fulfilled and actually die for his cause.
Or we can all bring one each of the following just for him to enjoy the aroma!