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If You Steal It Spend It

A Malaysian High Court judge has dismissed an application by the Government to recover hundreds of millions of ringgit by ex Prime Minister Najib to UMNO and putatively derived from government funds in respect of which Najib is currently undergoing trial. The Court also observed that the money in question had long been spent.

That is an interesting proposition, especially if correctly reported (something on which any necessary clarification will no doubt be issued) since it appears to give judicial backing to a proposition that if stolen funds are spent there is an end of the matter. But the spenders in the instant case appear to be a political party legally registered and carrying on political activity, despite its past President and Deputy President both being prosecuted for mega fraud.

So,if the Press reports of the matter are accurate, the position would appear be that anyone shown to have had possession of stolen money are safe from criminal prosecution PROVIDED they can show that it has been spent. That surely cannot be the case in Malaysia whatever may have been the position during Najib’s criminal administration. Some clarification would seem to be in order so that no one is under the illusion that crime pays!

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