Gone was the dopey, laid back and distanced PM who barely knew what was going on down at 1MDB, let alone in his own bank accounts, as we listened to the shock telephone recordings released by the MACC today.
As he tackled perhaps one of the trickiest calls of his life, Najib Razak can be heard navigating the details of the situation in the most polished and nuanced manner as he put through a personal call to the de-facto head of state in Abu Dhabi, Crown Prince Mohammed, the day after the US Department of Justice had announced its seizure of a billion dollars and laid bare the theft of the money that funded the movie Wolf of Wall Street.
Nevertheless, the tension and desperation in Najib’s at times trembling voice is also plain to hear, adding to the sense of drama of the surprise press conference held today by Malaysia’s MACC head Latheefa Koya. He was on the line to beg a fellow state leader to get him off the hook over the scandal and close it down. So, was he leaving 1MDB matters to his officials whilst engaged in other weighty concerns of state? My foot!
READ THE TRANSCRIPTS COURTESY OF MALAYSIAKINI
July 22, 2016, 8.54pm – Najib Abdul Razak calls Mohammed Zayed Al Nahyan [Click here for audio recording]
Mohammed: Mr Prime Minister. How are you, sir?
Najib: I’m delighted to speak to you, Your Highness. I’m well, Alhamdulillah, and I hope you and your family, they are well?
Mohammed: Everybody is just swell, Mr Prime Minister. How is the family doing?
Najib: Good, family is well here. Of course, we are experiencing a bit of dark cloud as a result of yesterday’s announcement by the Department of Justice.
That’s why Your Highness, it is important for us to resolve this impasse with respect to 1MDB and IPIC as soon as possible, so that we put closure as soon as possible, because it is embarrassing to both countries, embarrassing Malaysia, embarrassing UAE as well, and personalities who are close to you.
So, I wish that we can find a solution as soon as possible. It’s difficult for me to talk to you on the phone. Would it be possible for us to meet as soon as possible so that we can work this out?
Mohammed: Mr Prime Minister, it will be fine with me but the only catch is I’m probably with (UAE President) Sheikh Khalifah (Zayed Al Nahyan), who is in medical treatment now. He’s gone for a check-up for about five days and (inaudible)… after tomorrow I’m still with him, but is it okay after that?
Najib: Where will Your Highness be?
Mohammed: I’ll be at home, in about seven to eight days here.
Najib: Seven to eight days? Umm, mmm, mmm, mmm.
Mohammed: If you think this is too late I can arrange something else. I can let Khaldoon talk to you, wherever you are. Very under the radar and sit with you and talk about it. He’s somebody that I trust (inaudible)…
Najib: Where will Your Highness be on Sunday?
Mohammed: On Sunday, I will be leaving Sheikh Khalifah. On Sunday, actually yes.
Najib: You’re leaving what time on Sunday?
Mohammed: Uhhh, I’m not sure.
Najib: You’re not sure. Ummm.
Mohammed: Not in the morning.
Najib: Not in the morning? Would it be possible if I were to meet you on Sunday morning?
Mohammed: I can arrange that, I can arrange that, Mr Prime Minister.
Najib: I’ll fly over on Saturday and then be with you Sunday morning, and after our discussion, Your Highness, you can proceed with your trip.
This is very urgent, actually, if we don’t resolve this, the matter could escalate, you know.
Mohammed: Okay. Can I call you back in about three hours or four hours?
Najib: Uhh okay. Ummm, sure you can call me, say, 11.30 our time, which is about two-and-a-half hours’ time, is that possible?
Mohammed: Yeah, yeah, definitely. Definitely, I’ll call you before that.
Najib: Thank you, Your Highness.
July 22, 2016, 11.33pm – Mohammed Zayed Al Nahyan calls Najib Abdul Razak [Click here for audio recording]
Man: Ready to speak with His Highness?
Najib: Yes, I’m ready. Yeah, I’m ready, yeah.
Mohammed: Mr Prime Minister, I apologise for being late.
Najib: (Laugh) You’re very prompt, not to worry, Your Highness.
Mohammed: Mr Prime Minister, I have consulted my guys here and I’m fine with Sunday but the catch is (inaudible)… It will be unproductive for you and me (to meet), so I try to find another solution.
Mr Prime Minister, Khaldoon has the full authority from me. I really genuinely want to find a solution to this problem.
Mohammed: I think it is very important that somebody meets you. (Inaudible) is fine with you and fine with us, I think we should go for it. I don’t want to push this anymore, it is in our interest, Mr Prime Minister, to solve it.
Najib: Yes, it is our mutual interest, Your Highness. So you don’t think I should fly over? Do you think people will know about it?
Mohammed: I think… will know about it, yes.
Najib: I see. Uhh… mmm, mmm, mmm. But we really need to resolve this.
Mohammed: I can let him go there.
Najib: You want Khaldoon to come here?
Mohammed: I think Khaldoon can go there, Mr Prime Minister, and your minister can come and…
Najib: When can Khaldoon come here?
Mohammed: I will call him now. He’s in California for a visit, but I can let him snap and shoot from there.
Najib: I also have this personal request, Your Highness.
Najib: That relates to Riza (above). You know, my son.
Najib: And his movie. You see the problem is relatively small. There can be an agreement with Sheikh Mansour to have a loan agreement signed, and he will pay back according to his schedule. That will show that it is a legitimate financing package and it is not money laundering.
Mohammed: I see.
Najib: At the moment, he is under a bit of pressure in America, and we are worried about him. They are making him a scapegoat, you see.
I would appreciate, the big package looks positive, we can find a solution I believe, uhh. I would appreciate if that agreement can be signed quickly by Sheikh Mansour or whoever is designated by Sheikh Mansour, so that he can begin repayment.
He’s paid back some, he continues to repay, so that it would appear as a legitimate loan agreement, which it is, you see. Because when he received it, the banks cleared the source of money so he was not aware at all where it came from.
So I don’t want him to be a victim when he was totally unaware of the source of money. He genuinely believed that it was from Aabar and under the instruction of Sheikh Mansour, you see.
Remember, Your Highness, also talked about helping him when he was in Abu Dhabi?
Najib: That’s right. So I need that agreement to be sorted out quickly, Your Highness, that’s my special request. As soon as possible, if Monday or Tuesday we need this to have the agreement signed. Can you suggest how we can do that?
Mohammed: (Inaudible) Mr Prime Minister (inaudible)… if it within my power (inaudible). I understand that this is your son and I really want to…
Najib: Yeah, that’s right, because he is totally innocent. All he wanted was to make movies, and there was an offer of a loan from Sheikh Mansour and your side from Aabar, and also you mentioned it. Remember? When we had lunch at the restaurant about supporting him so he thought everything was fine, you see. Now, they’re trying to connect him with 1MDB money, which totally… came as a shock to him.
Mohammed: Mr Prime Minister, InsyaAllah.
Najib: But time is of the essence, Your Highness, we cannot leave it a day longer, we don’t want the Department of Justice to suddenly move against him, you see.
Najib: Thank you, Your Highness. Where do we go from here then? He’s got all the documents with him.
Mohammed: (Inaudible) Khaldoon right now. I will see how we can, (inaudible)… to see how they can arrange anything immediately.
Najib: He’s got the number of Amhari. If he can call Amhari straight away, and then, can we work out we can resolve this?
Mohammed: Mr Prime Minister, believe me, I want to finish this. This is bad and I don’t want…
Najib: Thank you, Your Highness. This is very bad, it could lead to something very very unforeseen and catastrophic for me, for our government, and also for you on your side.
So, it is to our mutual interest, being so close, we need to resolve this. It’s not something that is not impossible. It is something that is within our means to resolve.
Mohammed: I agree.
Najib: So, what do you want me to do, Your Highness, just uh…
Mohammed: I’ll (inaudible)… Amhari, Mr Prime Minister.
Najib: You’ll call Amhari? Okay, all right. I will alert Amhari straight away. Thank you.
July 23, 2016, 2.49am – Najib Abdul Razak calls Khaldoon Al Mubarak [Click here for audio recording]
Najib: Mr Khaldoon?
Najib: This is Najib, Datuk Najib once again.
Khaldoon: Oh hi, Mr Prime Minister. How are you?
Najib: (Inaudible) Has Riza…
Khaldoon: I’ve spoken to him and we agreed that we’re going to meet tomorrow morning.
Najib: Tomorrow morning? Okay, good. Do you want him alone or do you want him with a lawyer?
Khaldoon: No, I think better for this we meet alone. After I meet with him alone, we can… I can decide how we can move to the next level, but I just need for the first sit down… just at least for me to understand directly from him what needs to be done.
Najib: Can you convey to him? I’m trying to get him, but he’s in a meeting with his lawyer. I don’t want him to spoil this thing if he brings his lawyer because the lawyer is rather attached to him, doesn’t…’
Khaldoon: (Inaudible) What do you recommend? What do you prefer? If you want, I can bring a lawyer with me also. That way we can have the conversation with the lawyers. But I think better for the first time to be one-on-one.
Najib: Yes, one-on-one better.
Khaldoon: I will…
Najib: You can call a lawyer but not for the first meet. Just the two of you would be better.
Khaldoon: Okay, don’t worry about it.
Najib: Okay, sorry about…
Khaldoon: Okay. Thank you, sir.
July 27, 2016, 12.46am – Rosmah Mansor calls Najib Abdul Razak [Click here for audio recording]
Rosmah: Ha, where Datuk?
Man: One moment.
Rosmah: Apa cerita? (What’s the story) Can I advise you? (Shouting) Can I advise you on something?
Najib: Hang on… Yes, okay, anything?
Rosmah: You please don’t… Listen to me. They tell you to slow down Abu Kassim and Abu Kassim is making statements all over the place (inaudible)… convention, taking pictures with Pak Lah and what not.
They are making him, (he is) looking like a hero, and you are the villain. And all these five people, can’t they see their first priority is you, not anybody else?
Najib: Who are these people?
Rosmah: Your office lah. Shahlan (Ismail) is convinced, Tengku (Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad) is convinced, Amhari is convinced. It’s like we’re all villains.
Najib: No, no, no. I allowed (Senator Khairul) Azwan (Harun) to make the statement… the impact is good.
Rosmah: No, Azwan, okay, fine. Today (former MACC chief) Abu Kassim (Mohamed) is in Berita Harian, and they allowed Abu Kassim to take a picture (above) with Pak Lah (former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi).
And he has got the cheek to thank Pak Lah and everyone else, besides you. That’s not fair.
Najib: Hmm, hmm, understand.
Najib: No, I’ve already signed the letter for Dzul’s (Dzulkifli Ahmad) appointment.
Rosmah: And (former Senate president) Abu Zahar (Ujang) can make that statement. Oh, must be (inaudible)… we know they have lobbied.
Najib: Abu Zahar. Don’t make a statement, leave it be.
Rosmah: Yeah, but Abu Zahar in Berita Harian. Does he know what he is talking about or not?
Najib: That’s the thing. Okay, okay.
Rosmah: I don’t like this. Darling, you are the prime minister. You should take charge, not anybody else.
Najib: Yup, I understand.
Rosmah: And you’ve got goons around you to advise you.
Because I told Shahlan, if you want to help, why didn’t you help last week when the moment the thing happened? You should have come, approach me ‘Datin how can I help?’ (Inaudible)… After one week, I said you don’t start telling me (inaudible)… I don’t understand.
Because someone lodged a complaint against Abu Kassim – he’s in trouble – oh, then only you come and want to speak. Why didn’t you speak one week ago?
Najib: Hmm, hmm.
Rosmah: For a week, we have pain in our hearts, bodies, and mind.
Najib: Hmm, hmm, hmm.
Rosmah: So, I told Amhari the thing is not difficult. Just say that, withdraw the arbitration (inaudible)… They have to trust us as much as we trust them.
Najib: And that’s why Amhari told me. You go and talk to Khaldoon. Try to convince him this, there is no point in saying this. There is no point going for arbitration. I said if you go for arbitration, everybody is going to get hurt.
You see, I can speak to the crown prince. The crown prince, (inaudible)… will go back ‘oh, I need to consult Khaldoon’ and we’re back to that point.
Rosmah: You can’t blame him, that is his culture. So we have to work around the culture. Maybe Khaldoon should come here and talk to you and Amhari and settle it. That’s how I feel. Not just talking over the telephone, it doesn’t work.
Najib: We can invite him here, yeah, sure.
Rosmah: Invite him and sort it out once and for all. He knows us, not that he doesn’t. He has eaten at our home and all.
Najib: That’s a good idea, we can invite him here. Sure, I’ll tell him that.
Rosmah: You and Amhari sit down and sort it out (inaudible)… and in the meantime, we can also sort out Riza.
Riza’s problem is not difficult. His problem is just that somewhere along the line the thing is not completed, that’s it.
Najib: Sure, sure.
Rosmah: I think the best thing is to tell Khaldoon. He can bring his lawyers and come down here. I think a lot of things can be resolved.
Rather than having Amhari (below) speak to him when he is in LA (Los Angeles), day waiting for night, night waiting for day, you know.
Najib: I can suggest to Amhari, invite him here.
Rosmah: Then we can tell the crown prince, Khaldoon is here to talk to us and settle it all once and for all. We’ve already wasted one week.
Najib: Yeah, yeah, we can invite him here. It’s not wasted, a lot of things are moving already. These people want to see movement on the other side, the Chinese side. The Chinese side is moving already, you see.
Rosmah: That’s why darling, not many things can talk on the phone.
Najib: We can invite him here.
Rosmah: Invite him here immediately, then we tell the crown prince, tell him that Khaldoon is coming here we resolve (inaudible)…
I know for sure Sheikh Mansour wants to solve this, (inaudible)… I know the crown prince wants to solve this. But they are not the kind of people who sit down and talk to you, see.
Najib: Hmm. Okay, we can do that.
Rosmah: They (inaudible) have money only.
Najib: I’ll speak to Amhari after this. I’ll tell him to invite Khaldoon.
Rosmah: Or, or, you talk to Khaldoon. It’s okay lah, darling, we don’t have to (inaudible)… Get this sorted out. Please come here, solve everything at one go (inaudible)…
Right now, it’s day waiting for night, night waiting for day, there’s a 24-hour gap.
Najib: Okay, okay, okay.
Rosmah: Please darling.
Najib: I’ll speak to Amhari.
July 29, 2016, 12.14am – Najib Abdul Razak speaks to Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin [Click here for audio recording]
Najib: You’ve managed to speak to him (Khaldoon)?
Amhari: Yes, I’ve got an update for you. He’s suggesting – conclusion, he’s suggesting when he is in Abu Dhabi because he is very, very concerned about where he is, and you know, all these calls.
He’s getting a bit, you know, worried about all these calls going around. He is not comfortable.
(He said) ‘So at the very least, please tell your principal (leader) that although I don’t agree, I think it’s best to protect our principals that we don’t speak, but if he insists, then at least do it when I’m back in Abu Dhabi.’
And then he talked about how he helped, even while on holiday and all, for solution number two, so he is a bit stressed up – a bit wound up, not stressed. We’re still laughing about it, but uh, he’s a bit wound up, lah.
Najib: The thing is… uhh, this is difficult, now he doesn’t want to meet, did he say…
Amhari: He said, he said meeting up is very dangerous. And they’re still talking about us establishing communication back channels, and he said: ‘The whole idea was to bring the beef, and we stick to that. And even with option two on the table, but that option on two (was done) while I was on holiday I helped out (inaudible)…’.
And he said that one is ongoing, and is going to happen – I think in the next two days – so that’s going to happen.
But to speak to him, he said – he is just very worried, (saying) it’s very dangerous, afraid of leaks and all.
(He said) ‘At the very least when I’m back in Abu Dhabi, we can have a conversation (about) this with your principal’, that’s what he said, lah.
He was quite (inaudible)…
Najib: The second thing he will see to it that it happens… that second part?
Amhari: That second part, he said is that the two players will meet up and this guy will come back and report to him what is the deal on the table and see whether he can work on that, lah.
Najib: The second part is simple. It’s just for Sheikh Mansour to sign a letter to say that amount was a loan. That’s it.
Amhari: Yeah, but I’m sure his lawyers will then advise him the whatever, the repercussions are and so on. But he says whatever he can help based on the two principals’ conversations, he will help. That’s fine.
(Khaldoon said) ‘But please tell your principal, for the principal to talk to me is very risky, and we should be…’ – then he lectured me – ‘we should protect our principals you know, it’s very risky.’
Najib: (Inaudible) but we want things to happen… if things don’t happen now, it will be difficult.
Amhari: But Arabs are like that sometimes.
Najib: He’s dragging the whole thing, we’re in a difficult spot.
Amhari: Hmm, but it’s okay…
Najib: It’s okay for them. We are more exposed than them.
Amhari: True, true.
Najib: They’re not a democracy, they can sit…
Amhari: Without changing anything, right?
Najib: Not a thing.
Amhari: But uh, well, I don’t think whatever he said is entirely is, you know, being fair.
I think we have a case but we need to manage his situation. He said he was on holiday and still helped. His worries, he’s really worried about all these leaks.
He said: ‘If this goes out, then it’s very difficult for me to work, even when you come, it came out in the paper, I’m sure it’s not from you because you don’t… but somebody leaked it.
‘Who is sharing all these, and I’m not comfortable, but I discounted it. In fact, I wasn’t comfortable with it but I discounted it. I still carried on but all these things we need to protect.’
He is really worried about this, so we have to really protect it.
Najib: Hmm, hmm, hmm.
Amhari: So, sorry…
Najib: No worries, it’s okay. You tried your best, (inaudible)… it is really difficult.
Amhari: But on Saturday, I can arrange a conversation with you. Saturday evening or night.
Najib: At least, settle that thing first, the second part…
Amhari: The second part of their meeting.
Besides a general call to help him ‘shut down’ the scandal, there was an additional and highly pressing ‘personal favour’ Najib was begging off the hugely wealthy Crown Prince in that call, which was to organise a bogus retrospective loan from Abu Dhabi for his step-son Riza to enable the would-be Hollywood producer to dodge the Department of Justice’s allegations that he had acquired stolen millions from 1MDB to fund his films.
Poor Riza hadn’t known the money was stolen, Najib explained, he had innocently thought it was coming from IPIC. Indeed, he reminded, Mohammed had mentioned once at dinner he would be happy to help out some day. So, would this senior royal be willing to step into the scandal of the century and get involved in such deception, given the nations were so friendly?
The hesitation, reluctance and embarassment is palpable in the elegant voice of the royal respondent as he tackles this request from a fellow elite politician to outrageously conspire to deceive the forces of law and order of their mutual most powerful ally, to continue to cheat Najib’s own people to the tune of billions and to fork out yet more of Abu Dhabi’s reserves of cash to bail out 1MDB for no obvious good reason.
Except, there was a private good reason, as the crooked Malaysian prime minister so artfully interjected into the conversation, whilst his counter-part was prevaricating over his availability to discuss the matter further over the next few days or indeed weeks, if ever. These developments were bad for both of them my friend. 1MDB was making BOTH countries look bad and the ‘situation’ needed to be closed down as soon as possible before it turned “catastrophic”.
To this the Crown Prince agreed, more than once.
He acknowledged both countries needed 1MDB to go away, it is assumed because no one was smelling of roses. After all, the two top executives of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign fund IPIC/Aabar had already been exposed and jailed for their astonishing dishonesty and profligacy over 1MDB by the time of this call in late July 2016 (by comparison Najib was allowing Jho Low and all his mob to continue to run around free and claiming ‘there had been no wrongdoing’).
What’s more, specifically Khadem Al Qubaisi (KAQ), was known to have acted as the essential side-kick to Mohammed’s own younger brother Sheikh Mansour throughout the period, inevitably entangling, possibly even implicating, the untouchable royal family in what was going on.
Particularly toe-curling for the royal family will have been Najib’s direct referencing of Sheikh Mansour as the person requested to sign off on a bogus cheque – why so entitled and familiar with this particular brother in charge of IPIC/Aabar?
Mansour, in the same way Najib is presently posturing over 1MDB, will of course refer to his elevated position and assert he had no idea what was going on at the shop floor of the humungously loss-making IPIC fund, of which he was the Chairman. But, the fact of the matter is that stolen millions from 1MDB, channelled as backhanders into KAQ’s Luxembourg accounts, had ended up funding the upkeep on Mansour’s super-yacht as well as the burgeoning Hakkasan nightclub (boozing and girlie outfit) empire in Las Vegas.
Having kept its public distance from Hakkasan in the years immediately following the 1MDB scandal, Aabar (an IPIC subsidiary) has now emerged as the actual owner after all and the fund is busily closing the whole business down as fast as possible, it would appear.
By 2016 IPIC/Aabar (of which Mansour continues to be the boss) had also moved to bail out 1MDB to the tune of a billion dollars following the original expose and subsequent financial crisis in the fund the previous year – Aabar CEO Mohammed Al Husseiny who was responsible for that deal with Najib was sacked and jailed shortly after.
However, by then the two funds were entangled by fraudulent behaviour on both sides and the two countries were in tense negotiations to resolve who was going to fork out for the consequences of all this mutual graft?
This is what makes the evidence from this call pivotal to the on-going legal wrangle between the two countries, which has now at Malaysia’s request been returned to the UK High Court – a move resisted by Abu Dhabi which wanted to continue with secret arbitration.
After all, this recording sheds plenty more light on the nature of the decisions taken at the very highest levels on both sides and the reason for them, all of which Abu Dhabi would like to keep under wraps as it continues to act the injured party and demand billions in compensation from Malaysia.
So, what did take place? We can hear that in the call that Crown Prince agreed a ‘solution’ must be found and he indicated he was also in principle willing to try to bail out Riza. In short, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi did not roundly tell the prime minister of Malaysia that since it appeared that a massive crime and theft had taken place against the public fund for which he was responsible the law ought to be allowed to take its course.
Instead, the Abu Dhabi leader implies in the call he would indeed be willing to conspire together with a known actor behind 1MDB to engage in a cover-up, because the conduct up till now looked bad for his government as well as for Najib’s.
Nevertheless, the Crown Prince’s distaste and anxiety over being pulled into Najib’s mess are also clear. A by now wheedling prime minister is pressing for a commitment. He is desperate to jump on a plane to Abu Dhabi to see Mohammed that very weekend – there is no time to be lost he explains as his step-son is feeling the hot breath of the FBI down the back of his neck and needs to produce documents immediately in order to falsely claim the money came from Abu Dhabi after all.
For Najib, of course, this was the most important issue and we can be sure a shrieking and haranguing Rosmah (whose domineering tones can be heard in another of the calls exposed by the MACC) had been on to him every hour God sends to sort it out (this was a post 2am call Malaysia time). However, why should a Middle Eastern dignatory of the highest level (who unlike Najib holds his job for life) wish to get personally sullied with such stuff?
Sheikh Mohammed, who had been happy to visit KL some years before to front up what had seemed to be a big strategic investment project in the Tun Razak Exchange, was plainly in no mind to get caught out personally receiving the tainted PM now at his home in Abu Dhabi.
“Do you think it will become public if I come and see you” asks Najib like a little boy? The answer is yes. There was no one-to-one ‘four eyes’ meeting involving the two of them in prospect, the Crown Prince made clear!
Instead, Najib got the brush-off top leaders often use, which was an invitation to speak to Mohammed’s own key operator about these issues, Khaldoon Al Mubarak. The Crown Prince may privately have had hot words for his favoured advisor over getting him into this original mess with 1MDB, but Khaldoon’s high status and reputation remain intact in Abu Dhabi.
Indeed, the Crown Prince showed himself every bit as adept as Najib at the tricky social situation as he evaded commitments in this call. Riza should meet Khaldoon one to one, no accompanying lawyers with documents to sign please, so matters could be better understood. Likewise, Najib should meet Khaldoon, who could fly to KL to see him.
On the other hand, the Crown Prince did not say that this was a matter best left to due process and the law – he might now wish he had.
On a separate pertinent matter to issues presently being discussed in the KL courts, we now have solid proof from this July 2016 phone call that Najib DID know, that billions had been stolen from 1MDB: also that the money which funded Riza’s Wolf of Wall Street was indeed “laundered” (as he himself worded it to the Crown Prince) from the fund he was sole signatory for.
Yet, as Malaysians know, he continued to claim in public for many months that nothing had gone wrong at the fund or been stolen and he still says in court that he wasn’t aware until after the election that the money had not all come from an Arab Prince. Well, we knew it was nonsense all along, but now Najib is caught in his own words in real time admitting the money-laundering as he tried to cover it up. Prosecutors may be adding to their lists of questions.
What is also confirmed is that far from being laid back and barely aware of what was going on, as he has daily asserted in court, a panicking Najib was hands-on throughout the crisis to the extent he was ready to jump on a plane after that very call to race to Abu Dhabi to make a one-to-one deal with the Crown Prince to close down the scandal in the days following the DOJ press conference in 2016
After all, he was up to his neck in the situation and his own family were facing criminal indictments from the DOJ.
We also know from another call in this clutch of nine conversations provided by the MACC, this time with his screeching wife Rosmah, that the ex-PM was simultaneously up to negotiations on the ‘same matter’ with China – the China side was coming along nicely he reassured his frantic wife….. but hush, as such sensitive maters ought not to be dangerously discussed on an open line!
Observers must now look forward to the facts about what happened next to assess the upshot of Najib’s conspiracy with Abu Dhabi to shut down 1MDB for the good of both governments.
We can deduce that that the Crown Prince and his advisors clearly thought the better of entangling themselves in a lying deception to bail out Riza with a bogus loan, since in the end the young man fled home to KL and his company did a deal to hand back tens of millions in fines to the DOJ. Riza has now been indicted in Malaysia.
On the other hand, the Gulf state did proceed to agree to a punishing settlement with Najib’s government over 1MDB under terms reached through a secret arbitration agreement between the two countries. In return for keeping the whole matter under wraps Abu Dhabi extracted an eye-watering schedule of promised payments from Malaysia totalling some US$8bn, which the new PH government abruptly cancelled the moment they got into power and discovered the nature of the cover-up.
Malaysia’s position now is that the excutives of an Abu Dhabi sovereign fund assisted and benefitted from taking part in a fraud against 1MDB and that when the truth came out the rulers of that state agreed with the Malaysian perpetrators to help cover up the matter in return for a huge payment that relieved them of the financial consequences of those actions and placed further fraudlent expense on the Malaysian taxpayer.
The same actors thereby propped up a criminal regime against the interests of the Malaysian people, who were being robbed of billions. The now public phone call in which the highest decision-maker in Abu Dhabi makes plain he was willing to be involved in the cover-up and secret settlement that took place will doubtless take its place in all the evidence before the British court.
[to be added to with transcripts]