WSJ writer: Jho Low tried to broker meets for Dr M as olive branch

Yiswaree Palansamy

Tom Wright (pic) is in Malaysia to promote ‘Billion Dollar Whale’, a book he co-wrote with Bradley Hope, September 25, 2018. ― Picture by Ham Abu Bakar

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 — Low Taek Jho offered to arrange meetings for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly this week, US journalist Tom Wright asserted today.

The co-author of Billion Dollar Whale revealed this when asked if he knew whether the fugitive financier also known as Jho Low remained in contact with the Malaysian government to secure his release, now that Barisan Nasional was no longer in power.

“Yes, he is. He very optimistically offered to help the Malaysian government with its meetings in the US. They’re ongoing now.

“(To arrange Dr) Mahathir’s meetings on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly,” Wright said while expressing incredulity at Low’s aplomb.

The Wall Street Journal writer declined to share the source of this information.

Dr Mahathir is in the US for the UN General Assembly, which he is due to address on Friday.

Wright also weighed in on Sarawak Report’s expose yesterday, claiming that Low is now attempting to get the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to drop his case, saying that such a deal simply would not go through.

“It’s just speculation and it’s not possible at all. The DOJ is not going to cut a deal with a man allegedly at the centre of a fraud. That’s not how plea bargain works.

When pointed out that Red Granite Pictures linked to Low and owned by Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s son Riza Aziz, had previously gotten a deal, Wright begged to differ.

“They didn’t cut a deal with Red Granite. Red Granite agreed before the civil lawsuits had run their course, to voluntarily return profits from the film,” he added.

Earlier today, Red Granite paid the remainder of the US$60 million (RM248 million) settlement to end its role in the DOJ’s kleptocracy action linked to 1MDB, the Variety PMC website reported.

It said the production company behind The Wolf of Wall Street and Daddy’s Home reached a deal with federal prosecutors in March and the firm was meant to pay the sum in three instalments, which has been done.

The settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing by Red Granite.

“Red Granite paid its obligation to the government in full. The company is pleased to put this matter behind it,” the firm reportedly said.

Riza, a son from Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s previous marriage before she wed Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is a co-founder of Red Granite.

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