The High Court, was told that a bungalow in Tanjung Bungah, Penang belonging to Puan Sri Goh Gaik Ewe, mother of the infamous fugitive financier, Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, should not be listed in the ongoing forfeiture suit.
Lawyer M Puravalen, who represented Goh, 69, said this was because it had nothing to do with the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
He said that there we’re no statement made in relation to the house, which was built on two plots of land bought by Goh in 1990 and 1993, based on the sale and purchase agreement issued in court today.
“Documents of title to both parcels of land were also issued and clearly showed that the registration of the transfer was confirmed and took place on 11th July 1990 and 4th August 1993, respectively.”
“There were no findings to explain how the bungalow related to any illegal proceeds or misappropriated funds. The prosecution failed to prove any facts that explain the house’s involvement in predicate offenses or illegal activities.” the lawyer said while arguing in the forfeiture claim proceedings against Goh and 17 others.
Puravalen said the purchase and construction of the bungalow before the existence of 1MDB, which was the subject of a predicate offense for more than a decade and a copy of the certificate of eligibility to occupy the bungalow dated 22nd June 2000 issued by the Penang local council was also supporting evidence.
“The document shows Goh is the registered owner to date and there has been no change in terms of ownership of the land. Therefore, I argue that the prosecution has failed in carrying out their burden of proof on the property,” he added.
in regards to the savings in three bank accounts belonging to Goh, Puravalen said the prosecution did not provide documentary evidence or supporting materials to explain some of the deposit transactions in Goh’s account.
However, he said the prosecution had not submitted evidence that Goh’s bank account was used in money laundering offenses related to the 1MDB funds scandal.
The transaction was RM328,418.32 deposited on 13th October, 2016; RM340,704.64 deposited on Nov 11, 2016 is marked as a “credit instruction”; RM360,000 (Jan 21, 2017); RM33,649.58 (March 13, 2014) as well as RM36,631.07 (May 7, 2013) marked as “private transactions”, all in Goh’s disputed bank account.
“The affidavit certified by a 1MDB investigating officer, Assistant Commissioner R Rajagopal also did not provide an explanation of the said deposit on the bank account held by Goh.
“There is no trace of money or movement of money explained by Rajagopal to support his opinion that the deposit was the result of illegal or criminal activities. Therefore, we ask for this suit to be dismissed,” he said.
Proceedings before Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continue on 23rd April.