The Wall Street Journal’s Tom Wright, who co-wrote an expose about fugitive financier Low Taek Jho’s involvement in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, has made his views known on social media regarding an interview with Mr Low published in The Straits Times (ST) on Sunday (Jan 5).
Mr Wright tweeted that the interview, the first Mr Low has given in nearly four years, was “pointless.”
On Monday morning (Jan 6), Mr Wright tweeted, “Jho Low gives pointless interview to Straits Times without answering multiple charges against him by US and Malaysian authorities. He’s still on the run in China.”
Here’s a pick up of interview. Notice how Low claims to ST that he’s in Europe. He’s in China. https://t.co/2EqVeddMln
— Tom Wright (@TomWrightAsia) January 6, 2020
The newsman, who had written the bestselling book Billion Dollar Whale, an expose on Mr Low along with fellow WSJ journalist Bradley Hope, tweeted again sometime later, with a link to an article in Free Malaysia Today about the ST interview with Mr Low, reiterating that the fugitive financier is in China. “Here’s a pick up of interview. Notice how Low claims to ST that he’s in Europe. He’s in China.”
In the ST article 1MDB scandal: Fugitive Jho Low tells ST he was just an intermediary, it is mentioned that Mr Low had been offered asylum in a country that adheres to the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights “on the basis of the political persecution to which I have been subjected and the continuing violation of my human rights.”
ST goes on to say that it understands that this is a country in Europe.
The financier, who is popularly known as “Jho Low” told The Straits Times (ST) via email that he was a scapegoat in the scandal, and that other parties in the S$6 billion scam played greater roles.
Mr Low told ST, “The reality is that I am an easy target …given the fact that I am not a politician,” but that “when all is said and done, people will see me in a very different light to how I am portrayed now.”
In the interview that was published in ST’s online platform on Monday (Jan 6), the fugitive financier debunks the portrayal of himself as 1MDB’s “mastermind,” providing the rationale that he has never held any decision-making role at 1MDB or SRC.
Instead, he claims that his assistance was asked for due to his connections with “influential foreign businessmen and decision-makers.”
Mr Low claims that the decision-making responsibilities for 1MDB had been on the shoulders of “management, board and shareholders” who in turn had been advised by “international bankers, lawyers and other independent professionals.”
Furthermore, he said he found the “inordinate amount” of media attention on him to be “astounding” in comparison to the scrutiny given to the “global financial and other institutions and advisers that actually organised and facilitated the fundraisings (sic) at issue.”
When asked by ST on why he refused to answer the criminal charges he had been slapped with in his home country as well as in the United States, the financier reiterated his oft-repeated refrain that he would not receive a fair trial in Malaysia, citing the seizure of his family home as an example. -/TISG