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1MDB matter: Swiss attorney general extends criminal proceedings

Source: theedgemarkets.com

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As part of the criminal proceedings on suspicion of embezzlement committed against the Malaysian sovereign fund 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad), the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has extended its proceedings to two former Emirati officials, in charge of Abu Dhabi sovereign funds.

The OAG also sent two requests for mutual legal assistance to Luxembourg and Singapore.

The two former Emirati officials are under investigation for fraud (Art. 146 Swiss Criminal Code/SCC), criminal mismanagement (Art. 158 SCC), misconduct in public office (Art. 314 SCC), forgery of a document (Art. 251 SCC), bribery of foreign public officials (Art. 322septies SCC) and money laundering (Art. 305bis SCC).

The extension of the criminal proceedings took place within the Genting/Tanjong chapter, one of the four main chapters of the Swiss investigation opened on 14 August 2015 (see OAG’s press release of 29 January 2016). 1MDB subsidiaries issued two series of bonds to finance investments in electric power plants. This chapter of the proceedings covers the circumstances in which these subsidiaries obtained the guarantee to repay these bonds from an Abu Dhabi sovereign fund.

The Swiss authorities have elements in hand allowing them to suspect that the amounts paid in connection with this guarantee were not returned to the Abu Dhabi sovereign fund that supported the commercial risk. To the contrary, these funds would have benefited others, particularly two public officials concerned as well as a company related to the motion picture industry. A former 1MDB body, already accused in the Swiss proceedings, has also benefited from these amounts.

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As part of the Swiss criminal proceedings, and in particular the extension thereof, the OAG issued two new requests for mutual legal assistance, to Luxembourg and Singapore. Given the international cooperation, the OAG is thus working to establish the facts.

As for any defendant, the two Emirati public officials as the other defendants, are presumed innocent.

Source: Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland

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