PETALING JAYA: Fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, has denied any wrongdoing in the wake of Malaysian authorities filing criminal charges against Goldman Sachs and several others, including him.
The charges were filed in connection with an investigation into corruption and money laundering at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
A spokesman for Low, through his attorneys, issued a statement on the matter on Monday (Dec 17).
“Mr Low maintains his innocence,” said Wells Haslem Mayhew Strategic Public Affairs co-CEO Benjamin Haslem.
“As has been stated previously, Mr Low will not submit to any jurisdiction where guilt has been predetermined by politics and there is no independent legal process.
“It is clear that Mr Low cannot get a fair trial in Malaysia, where the regime has proven numerous times that they have no interest in the rule of law,” he added.
Low’s current whereabouts remain unknown.
Earlier, in a statement, Attorney General Tommy Thomas said Malaysia will seek jail terms as well as billions in fines from Goldman Sachs and four other individuals who allegedly diverted about US$2.7bil (RM11.3bil) from 1MDB.
According to a Reuters report, this is the first time Goldman Sachs has faced criminal charges in the 1MDB scandal.
Like Low, the bank has consistently denied wrongdoing.
In a statement, a Goldman Sachs spokesman said the bank would vigorously defend against the “misdirected” charges.
The bank continued to cooperate with all authorities in their investigations, he said.
Reports say Goldman Sachs has been under the microscope for its role in helping raise US$6.5bil (RM27.2bil) through three bond offerings for 1MDB, which is the subject of investigations in at least six countries.
The US Department of Justice has said about US$4bil (RM16.7bil) was misappropriated from 1MDB, including some money that Goldman Sachs helped raise, by high-level officials of the fund and their associates from 2009 through 2014.
Thomas said that charges were filed against Goldman Sachs' former South-East Asia chairman Tim Leissner, former banker Roger Ng, former 1MDB employees Jasmine Loo and Low in connection with the bond offerings.
He added that Ng would be charged shortly.