Yes, We Cooperated With Hong Kong On Musa Aman Case – Acknowledge Swiss Authorities!

*Artikel ini boleh dibaca dalam 2 Bahasa, Inggeris dan Melayu

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

The answer is ‘yes’ – Swiss Attorney General, Michael Lauber

A statement from the Swiss Attorney General’s office, published today in a national newspaper, has added further dramatic proof to our evidence that Sabah’s Chief Minister, Musa Aman, has been under investigation over timber kickbacks worth at least US$90million.

The Zurich-based Sunday weekly, Sonntagszeitung, was following up on our reports that the Hong Kong authorities had traced millions of dollars, flowing from companies linked to Sabah timber concessions into a UBS Zurich bank account in the name of Musa Aman himself.

Sonntagszeitung first challenged UBS, the Swiss bank which had allegedly managed the transactions through a complex web of bank accounts, controlled by two of the Chief Minister’s close associates, the timber trader Michael Chia and Sabah solicitor Richard Christopher Barnes.

The bank has so far declined to comment.

Statement from the Swiss Attorney General’s Office confirms the investigation!

However, the newspaper did receive crucial confirmation of the investigation from Switzerland’s legal enforcement agency, the Attorney General’s Office.

Journalists posed a carefully worded question, which mentioned Musa Aman by name, highlighted his position  and specified the exact sum of US$90million that the Hong Kong authorities were believed to be investigating.

They asked whether the Swiss authorities had been approached by Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) to assist in providing information about the case in the context of these key facts:

Question: “The Malaysian politician Musa Aman, Minister of the State of Sabah, is at the centre of a corruption case in Malaysia and Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s anti corruption authority has compiled a report on the case. It is alleged that, through nominees, Aman has received a total of 90 million US dollars of corruption payments from logging companies in return for granting logging concessions. Allegedly, these funds have been laundered through a network of companies and deposited on UBS accounts in Hong Kong and Zurich. Lawyer Richard Christopher Barnes and businessman Chia Tien Foh have been mentioned as nominees. These occurrences date back to the years 2006 to 2008.

My question is the following one: Has the Office of the Attorney General led an investigation for suspected money-laundering or other criminal offences in this context?“  [Translation of the question submitted to the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, by the Zurich-based Sunday weekly, Sonntagszeitung, 20th April 2012]

It is the reply of the Attorney General’s Office to this question that clearly confirms the investigation into Musa Aman for suspected money-laundering:

Statement: “The Office of the Attorney General has in this context provided legal assistance. The result of the legal assistance enforcement has been forwarded to the Federal Office of Justice on 29th March 2012 for transmission to the requesting authorities in Hong Kong.

The Office of the Attorney General does not inform on the content or the enforcement of the legal assistance request. As legal assistance enforcement authority, we generally do not answer questions on investigations led abroad. The authority on information lies with the foreign criminal prosecutors in charge.“ [Translation of reply by Jacqueline Bühlmann, spokesperson for the Office of the Attorney General 20th April 2012]

“In this context”!

Showman – Musa Aman is going to have to explain why Switzerland was cooperating into an investigation into money laundering by him

It is the crucial acknowledgement of the context of the investigation, as one focusing on the Chief Minister himself for suspected money-laundering, in collaboration with Michael Chia and Richard Christopher Barnes, that will make it most difficult now for Musa Aman to continue to shrug off this matter, as if it was mere invention.

Over the past days Aman and his supporters have operated a strategy of total denial, issuing statements accusing Sarawak Report of producing made up stories, false evidence and forged documents.

They have maintained this stance, even though neither UBS nor the Hong Kong and Malay authorities have been prepared to take the obvious step of disowning our material, which they clearly would have done if the documents were false.


The key flow chart information from Hong Kong’s ICAC investigation, which Musa Aman has so far denied

Now Musa Aman will clearly be obliged to make a further statement to explain his position in the face of this latest development.  Is he going to claim that the Swiss prosecutor is also telling lies?  Or will he claim that it is the Swiss National Newspaper that has lied about what the prosecutor has said?

He will find such tactics hard, because a separate statement given to Sonntagszeitung by the Swiss Federal Office of Justice has also confirmed that it facilitated the international transfer of the documents provided by the Office of the Attorney General to Hong Kong:

Statement: “I can add that, on 31st March 2011, the Federal Office of Justice transmitted the legal assistance files, as collected by the Office of the Attorney General, to the requesting authority in Hong Kong.” [Translation of statement by Folco Galli, Head of Information of the Swiss Federal Office of Justice, 20th April 2012]

Time for “the Hong Kong authorities to provide details”

In response to these crucial developments the Swiss NGO the Bruno Manser Fund has now issued its own challenge to the Hong Kong authorities to provide further details on the investigation.

Given that the Swiss authorities have indicated that the authority on the case lies with the initiating agency, BMF has requested a full disclosure from the ICAC in its press release today.

And the NGO also signals that it will be calling for a further investigation of the role of the Swiss bank UBS in the whole affair:

“The Bruno Manser Fund asks the Hong Kong authorities to provide details on the results of its investigations, as this is a question of highest public interest at the international level. The Bruno Manser Fund strongly criticizes UBS for allowing timber kickbacks to be laundered through its accounts and is currently examining if the bank’s conduct includes legal offences under Swiss law” [BMF press release, 20/04/12]

More evidence in our dossier on Musa Aman

Meanwhile, Sarawak Report plans to continue the release of further damning documents from its dossier on this case over coming days.

We will also continue to ask why the Malaysian Attorney General, Abdul Gani Patail and Prime Minister Najib Razak have both steadfastly blocked the prosecution of this case against their key political ally the Chief Minister of Sabah?

While the Swiss authorities have cooperated in the investigation, the Malaysians have not.



Ya, Kami Telah Bekerjasama Dengan Pihak Hong Kong Berkenaan Kes Musa Aman – Kenyataan Pihak-Pihak Berkuasa Swiss!

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Menurut kenyataan dari pejabat Peguam Negara Swiss yang diterbitkan pada hari ini dalam akhbar kebangsaannya, telah menambahkan dan memperkuatkan lagi bukti kami bahawa Ketua Menteri Sabah, Musa Aman, telah dibabitkan dalam penyiasatan yang melibatkan wang sogokan kegiatan pembalakan bernilai US$90 juta.

Akhbar mingguan Sonntagszeitung yang beribu-pejabat di Zurich, sedang mengikuti laporan kami bahawa pihak berkuasa Hong Kong telah menyiasat jutaan dollar, yang disalurkan dari syarikat-syarikat yang terbabit dengan lesen-lesen pembalakan di Sabah ke dalam akaun bank UBS Zurich di atas nama Musa Aman sendiri. Akhbar Sonntagszeitung pada mulanya telah mencabar kesahihan bank UBS Swiss yang dituduh menguruskan segala transaksi menerusi jaringan akaun-akaun bank yang kompleks, yang dikendalikan oleh dua orang rakan Ketua Menteri Sabah itu, iaitu peniaga kayu balak Michael Chia dan peguam Richard Christopher Barnes. Sehingga kini bank berkenaan belum lagi memberikan sebarang komen.

Namun, akhbar berkenaan telah menerima pengesahan ke atas siasatan itu dari agensi penguatkuasa perundangan Swiss, iaitu Pejabat Peguam Negaranya.

Para pemberita telah mengemukakan suatu soalan, dengan menyebut secara betertib nama Musa Aman, dan dengan menyentuh kedudukannya dan sejumlah wang bernilai US$90 juta yang mana pihak berkuasa Hong Kong telah dipercayai menjalankan siasatan mereka juga.

Mereka bertanya sama ada pihak-pihak berkuasa Swiss telah didatangi oleh ICAC Hong Kong bagi membantu dengan memberikan maklumat berkenaan kes berkenaan:

Soalan: “Seorang ahli politik Malaysia, Musa Aman, seorang menteri yang menerajui kerajaan Sabah kini, merupakan orang yang terlibat dalam kes rasuah di Malaysia dan juga di Hong Kong. Pihak anti rasuah Hong Kong telah memfailkan laporan berkenaan. Difahamkan bahawa menerusi wakil-wakilnya, Musa Aman telah menerima sejumlah US$90 juta wang sogokan daripada syarikat-syarikat pembalakan sebagai wang sogokan mereka untuk mendapatkan lesen-lesen pembalakan. Adalah disyaki bahawa wang itu telah disalurkan menerusi suatu jaringan syarikat-syarikat dan didepositkan ke dalam akaun bank UBS di Hong Kong dan Zurich atas namanya. Peguam Richard Christopher Barnes dan peniaga Chia Tien Foh disebutkan sebagai wakil-wakil kepada Musa Aman itu. Kejadian ini berlaku antara tahun-tahun 2006 hingga 2008. Persoalan saya seterusnya: Sudahkah Pejabat Peguam Negara mengetuai siasatan ke atas penyelewengan kewangan yang disyaki itu mahupun kes-kes jenayah yang berkaitan dalam konteks ini?” [Terjemahan soalan-soalan ini telah dikemukakan kepada Pejabat Peguam Negara Switzerland, oleh akhbar mingguan Swiss yang beribu-pejabat di Zurich, Sonntagszeitung, 20hb April 2012]

Berikut adalah merupakan jawapan Pejabat Peguam Negara Switzerland yang mengesahkan bahawa siasatan ke atas kes yang melibatkan wang sogokan Musa Aman:

Kenyataan: “Pejabat Peguam Negara (Switzerland) dalam konteks ini telah memberikan kerjasama di segi perundangan. Hasil penguatkuasaan undang-undang telahpun dikemukakan ke Pejabat Persekutuan Kehakiman pada 29hb Mac 2012 untuk dikemukakan kepada pihak-pihak berkuasa Hong Kong yang telah memohonnya. Pejabat Peguam Negara tidak memaklumkan isi kandungan ataupun maklumat lengkap berkaitan bantuan perundangan yang dipohon itu.” [Terjemahan jawapan oleh Jacgueline Buhlmann, jurucakap untuk Pejabat Peguam Negara 20hb April 2012]

Kenyataan mengenai siasatan ini menjadikan suatu kesukaran bagi Musa Aman untuk terus menafikan pembabitannya dengan Michael Chia dan Richard Christopher Barnes, yang pada awalnya telah didakwanya sebagai sesuatu yang direka-reka.

Sejak kebelakangan ini Musa Aman dan para penyokongnya telah mengatur beberapa strategi penafian, dengan mengemukakan kenyataan-kenyataan yang menuduh Sarawak Report sebagai mereka-reka laporan, mengada-ngadakan bukti-bukti palsu dan menunjukkan-nunjukkan dokumen-dokumen yang telah disunting.

Mereka telah tegas dengan pendirian mereka, walaupun pihak UBS atau ICAC Hong Kong mahupun Malaysia bersedia untuk mengambil langkah-langkah untuk menafikan bahan-bahan yang kami kemukakan, yang sepatutnya diperlakukan sedemikian jika bahan-bahan kami itu sememangnya palsu.

Kini Musa Aman diwajibkan untuk membuat kenyataan selanjutnya untuk menjelaskan kedudukannya berkaitan perkembangan terkini. Adakah dia akan mengatakan bahawa pihak pendakwaraya Switzerland juga berbohong? Atau adakah dia akan mengatakan bahawa Akhbar Kebangsaan Switzerland itu mengada-ngadakan cerita bohong yang dikemukakan oleh pihak pendakwaraya mereka?

Musa Aman akan berdepan kesukaran untuk mengelak, kerana kenyataan yang berasingan yang diberikan kepada pihak Sonntagszeitung oleh Pejabat Kehakiman Swiss juga mengesahkan bahawa ianya membantu dalam pemindahan antarabangsa dokumen-dokumen yang dilakukan oleh Pejabat Peguam Negara ke Hong Kong:

Kenyataan: “Dapat saya tambahkan di sini bahawa pada 31hb Mac 2012, Pejabat Persekutuan Kehakiman telah memindahkan fail-fail bagi membantu siasatan, sebagaimana diperlukan oleh Pejabat Peguam Negara, kepada pihak berkuasa Hong Kong yang memohonnya.” [Terjemahan kenyataan oleh Folco Galli, Ketua Pejabat Penerangan di Jabatan Kehakiman Swiss, 20hb April 2012]

Dalam responsnya terhadap perkembangan-perkembangan ini pihak NGO Swiss, Bruno Manser Fund kini telah mengeluarkan cabarannya kepada pihak Hong Kong untuk mendedahkan butir-butir lanjut dalam siasatan mereka itu.

Pihak BMF juga telah memohon dari ICAC Hong Kong untuk mengeluarkan laporan yang lengkap pada kenyataan akhbar mereka.

Dan pihak NGO berkenaan juga telah memberikan isyarat bahawa siasatan seterusnya perlu dijalankan ke atas peranan bank UBS Switzerland berkaitan skandal ini:

“Bruno Manser Fund telah meminta pihak-pihak berkuasa Hong Kong untuk memberikan butir-butir hasil siasatan mereka, kerana ini merupakan persoalan peringkat antarabangsa. Bruno Manser Fund mengutuk UBS kerana membenarkan kemasukan wang sogokan ke dalam simpanannya dan mempersoalkan sama ada bank itu ada menguatkuasakan undang-undang Swiss ke atas kegiatan itu” [Kenyataan akhbar BMF, 20hb April 2012]

Dalam pada itu, Sarawak Report merancang untuk meneruskan pelaporan dan pendedahan apa jua dokumen-dokumen berbukti yang didepositkan mengenai kes ini dalam sedikit masa lagi.

Kami akan terus bertanya mengapakah Peguam Negara Malaysia, Abdul Gani Patail dan Perdana Menteri Malaysia, Najib Razak telah bersekongkol menghalang pendakwaan ke atas kes ini menentang rakan politik mereka, iaitu Ketua Menteri Sabah?

Pihak-pihak berkuasa Switzerland telahpun memberikan kerjasama dalam penyiasatan ini, maka, bila lagi pihak berkuasa Malaysia berbuat demikian?


About dusunbukit

You've got your truth, I've got my truth. We can't be both wrong. The real challenge is to discern the difference. Pardon me if I offend you, but I'm going to put my words bluntly. So, lets rumble..
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