KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 — Fugitive financier Low Taek Jho declared that the High Court’s decision today in allowing the federal government to forfeit around RM48.9 million in bank accounts belonging to his father was preordained and politically motivated.
Speaking through a spokesman, Low or Jho Low said the improper seizure of assets purportedly linked to him was the inevitable result of illegitimate proceedings brought upon by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s regime whose attempt blurred the lines between the executive and judicial power.
“This seizure, much like Mahathir regime’s recent attempts to seize the Low family’s home of 20 years, further demonstrates the regime’s shameful strategy of targeted harassment and willingness to abandon proper procedures.
“The regime continues to favour the law of the jungle in pursuit of any inch of political gain,” Low’s spokesman said in a statement.
Earlier today, the High Court ruled that the federal government can proceed immediately with full forfeiture of around RM48.9 million belonging to Tan Sri Larry Low Hock Peng, Jho Low’s elusive father.
The forfeiture action was filed to freeze Larry’s seven bank accounts containing a total of over RM48.9 million in order to forfeit the funds that were allegedly linked to money-laundering activities after they were seized in December and January.
The court made the order after no one turned up during today’s hearing to show cause as to why the properties should not be seized by the government.
In his statement, Jho Low also maintained his refusal to return to face trial here by claiming he would not receive a fair hearing.
“Against a backdrop of falling approval ratings, the Mahathir regime has not met its promises with respect to basic human rights or the rule of law.
“The evidence is clear: it is simply not possible to receive a fair trial in Malaysia, where double standards prevail and power and politics override basic rights and freedoms,” he said.
On March 21, investigators from the federal police’s Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Prevention division posted a notice of seizure on the Low family mansion in Tanjung Bungah Park, Penang.
The enforcement was pursuant to an Attorney General’s Chambers notice issued in January under Section 56 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act used to seize the senior Low’s accounts.
The two Lows were charged in absentia here last year with money laundering and financial fraud related to Goldman Sachs’ bond issues for 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).