By MARTIN TOMMY
COMMENT: The forfeiture of property or money or proceeds from an unlawful activity in the 1MDB case must have been made under section 56(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2001 where there is no prosecution against all the 41 Respondents (individuals and political parties including LDP) within 12 months from the date of seizure or where there is a freezing order, 12 months from the date of the freezing.
This is to allow the authorities to recover the said property or proceeds from those identified to have received property or money or proceed from 1MDB. As such it is not a criminal action against the 41 individuals or entities named in the MACC suits for forfeiture of property.
Upon receipt of the court endorsed original copy of the Notice of Application, the Respondents including LDP (Sabah based opposition political party) must file an Affidavit in Opposition to oppose the said Notice by stating, amongst others, the sources of the money in their accounts and had nothing to do with 1MDB.
However, ultimately, it is the Judge to whom the Application is made under section 1 of section 4 who shall make an order for the forfeiture of the property if he is satisfied that the same are proceeds of an unlawful activity where in this instance, the ill-fated 1MDB under subsection 2 para (a)(iii) of the Act.
Being a civil action in nature, the intention is to recover money that was kept by individuals, associations or political parties from which the same had been seized or frozen by MACC.
In the case of a suit or an application filed against political parties, the Respondents would have to be the political party which received, kept and spent the money for the sole benefit of the said party and not the individual per se who happened to be the President or office bearers at those material times.
In fact, it was on record that Latheefa Koya, the new MACC Chief has made it very clear in her press statement on the 21/6/19 ….. “This isn’t a criminal prosecution. If they give back, it’s all well and good” adding “That is what we’re focussing on. Since the law is clear and we have alternative ways to recover the monies, we will use the most pragmatic way.”
In the case of LDP, i advise Chin Su Pin (its current president) to seek legal advice immediately and stop beating around the bush and trying to divert the attention of the public from the real issue by accusing the former president Datuk Liew Vui Keong.
Datuk Liew is more than happy to go to court to testify to reveal the truth.
* Martin Tommy is Political Secretary to the Minister of Law in the Prime Minister’s Department