WSJ report accusing Beijing over 1MDB bailout groundless: Chinese Embassy in Malaysia

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WSJ report accusing Beijing over 1MDB bailout groundless: Chinese Embassy in Malaysia

China also denied WSJ's allegation that some Chinese leaders had offered to bail out 1MDB in return for lucrative contracts in 2016.

The fugitive businessman, through his spokesman, said the report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) was merely a trial by media, and shifted the blame on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his administration instead.

China offered to use its influence to persuade the US and other countries to drop their investigations into the fund and then-Prime Minister Najib Razak, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

The Chinese embassy said Beijing never attached political conditions to its cooperation with other countries.

The Chinese Embassy in Malaysia yesterday said both China and Malaysia had all along treated each other as "friendly neighbours and honest partners".

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who faces multiple graft charges linked to 1MDB, has also dismissed the WSJ report, posting on his Facebook account: "There has not been such a thing".

"China has all along adhered to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of any other country".

"If there is anything that explicitly states this in black and white, we will pursue the case", he was cited as saying.

Within months, the government in Kuala Lumpur signed billions of dollars worth of deals with Chinese state companies backed by funding from Chinese banks.

In return for China's bailout, Malaysia offered stakes in railway and pipeline projects for China's One Belt, One Road program of building infrastructure overseas.

Najib is now on trial for corruption, money laundering, and criminal breach of trust offences related to 1MDB, as are several members of his administration.

Malaysia's Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said on Tuesday (Jan 8) that the government was unaware of the discussions detailed in the WSJ report. He pleaded not guilty and has consistently denied wrongdoing.

"We know that the price (of projects with China) is inflated, but whether there was such a deal, I have to check", Lim added, according to Channel NewsAsia.

The US Justice Department has estimated that a total of US$4.5 billion was misappropriated by high-level 1MDB fund officials and their associates between 2009 and 2014, including some of the funds that Goldman Sachs helped raise.

"With the likelihood that the respondent will abscond, I'm of the considered view that the respondent's presence (in court) can not be secured by the setting of bail or the setting of any condition to the granting of bail", he said.

Ng has been detained in Kuala Lumpur since Nov 1 a year ago, shortly after the US Department of Justice announced charges against him, Tim Leissner and Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho over the alleged theft of billions of dollars from 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

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