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Banker Behind Biggest Malaysian Corruption Scandal Indicted For Donation To Obama Campaign

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 05/10/2019

Pras Michel, the Fugees rapper who once included a cameo appearance from a pre-Apprentice Donald Trump on his hit solo album “Ghetto Supastar”, has been indicted alongside the Malaysian banker and alleged mastermind of the $4.5 billion 1MDB fraud for funneling money stolen from the doomed sovereign wealth fund to benefit President Obama’s reelection campaign.

Yes, you read that right.

The rapper, who has largely faded into obscurity until he appeared in several stories about Malaysian financier Jho Low’s lavish Vegas parties, was identified as a close friend of Low, and allegedly helped open bank accounts in the US that were used to disguise the source of Low’s money, which was donated to PACs working to support Obama’s reelection bid.

Michel and Low were indicted Friday afternoon in the same indictment, which – for those who have been keeping track of the sprawling 1MDB probe – ties the 1MDB scandal – one of the biggest financial frauds in history – and former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to political organizations that supported Obama’s reelection campaign. And where did this money come from initially? Why, it was raised by Goldman Sachs!

So an international fugitive who is believed to be hiding somewhere in China under the official protection of the Communist Party illegally used foreign money to tamper with a US election.

Sometimes, the truth can be stranger than fiction.

Both men were charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States (one of the charges that was bandied about by Russian collusion conspiracy theorists like Rachel Maddow).

Here’s more from the DoJ press release announcing the charges.

A United States entertainer and businessman and a Malaysian financier were charged  in a four-count indictment unsealed today in the District of Columbia for conspiring to make and conceal foreign and conduit campaign contributions during the United States presidential election in 2012, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Prakazrel “Pras” Michel, 46, and Low Taek Jho, 37, also known as “Jho Low,” were charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States government and for making foreign and conduit campaign contributions.  Michel also was charged with one count of a scheme to conceal material facts and two counts of making a false entry in a record in connection with the conspiracy.  Michel appeared today for his arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey in the District of Columbia.  Low remains at large.

The charges are an outgrowth of the sprawling federal probe into the collapse of 1MDB, which was purportedly looted by former Prime Minister Najib Razak, Low and members of their inner circle. While Michel is in custody, Low remains at large.

Remember this the next time Democrats denounce foreign interference in American elections.

May 12, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , | Leave a comment

‘Lone Wolf’ Myth Covers Up Possible Mossad Role in New Zealand Terrorist Attack

By Max Parry • Unz Review • March 27, 2019

Ever since the news broke on March 15 of two consecutive mass shootings at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, corporate media has been determined to establish that suspect Brenton Tarrant acted alone in the terrorist attacks that took the lives of 50 innocent Muslim worshippers and wounded 50 others. While mainstream media has been predictably eager to parade the tragedy as another chapter in the wave of rising Islamophobia and right-wing extremism globally, they have put equal effort into conscientiously avoiding any evidence that contradicts the ‘lone wolf’ theory they decided on in the initial hours following the first mass shooting in New Zealand since 1997.

Whenever terrorism is committed by Arabs or Muslims, the fourth estate is usually anxious to speculate whether or not the suspect is connected to a larger radical syndicate. However, the same scrutiny is seldom applied to white nationalists like Tarrant. In fact, they are even hesitant to label it ‘terrorism’ at all, with everyone from The Daily Telegraph to the fanatical Zionist Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News settling for the choice words ‘mass shooting.’ While Tarrant denies being part of any group in his public declaration, he does hint that he is part of a broader extremist network:

“I am not a direct member of any organization or group, though I have donated to many nationalist groups and have interacted with many more. No group ordered my attack, I make the decision myself. Though I did contact the reborn Knights Templar for a blessing in support of the attack, which was given.”

As many have noted, the “Knights Templar” is the name of an anti-Muslim militant group that another infamous right-wing terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik, claimed to belong to. During the 2011 Norway attacks, Breivik targeted a government building in the city of Oslo and a youth camp of the ruling Labour party on the island of Utøya in a sequential car bombing and mass shooting that killed a total of 77 people. However, the media and prosecutors in Breivik’s trial were insistent that the group was fictional and the only possibility was that he was an ‘army of one’ while suffering from a psychiatric disorder, another trait that is apparently only applicable to white-skinned terrorists. There was no serious inquiry into whether he was part of a larger nexus, even though he had direct contact with groups like the English Defense League (EDL), the British far right Islamophobic group led by neo-fascist agitator Tommy Robinson. Breivik was portrayed as a fundamentalist Christian but was curiously a member of the Norwegian Order of Freemasons, an organization with a history of ties to the espionage world and susceptible to infiltration because of its inherent secrecy. The original Knights Templar, or “Templars,” were a Christian army founded in the 10th century who initially shielded pilgrims voyaging to the Holy Land and later fought against Muslims during the Crusades while the name is drawn from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

What has been downplayed by the yellow press is the specific brand of Islamophobic extremism that was the basis of Tarrant’s attacks. His ideology is revealed in a 73-page manifesto, entitled “The Great Replacement” in reference to the ‘white genocide’ theory held by white nationalist identitarians, which he dispatched less than ten minutes prior to the ambush in emails to several media outlets and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s office. While the corporate press is correct that Tarrant and Breivik clearly follow the practices of the anti-Islam xenophobic movement on the rise in Europe, North America and now Oceania, the key element they have deliberately avoided mentioning is a strong collective affinity for the state of Israel. The coverage of Christchurch has repeated the same pattern displayed following the 2011 Norway attacks where the distinguishing characteristic of the extremism both culprits adhere to is of a staunchly pro-Zionist variety which has been decidedly overlooked. In the eight years between the two attacks, the pro-Israel European right has only augmented in size. In his manifesto, Brenton Tarrant even boasted the unverified claim to have had “brief contact with Knight Justiciar Breivik” while taking “true inspiration” from him. His Norwegian idol had his own 1,500 page manifesto where Israel was approvingly name-dropped nearly 400 times while he declared:

“So let us fight together with Israel, with our Zionist brothers against all anti-Zionists, against all cultural Marxists/multiculturalists.”

The combination of far right nationalism and support for Israel may seem like an unlikely combination, but it is an ideology shared by most of the Islamophobic and anti-immigrant political parties throughout Europe that have performed impressively well in European Parliament elections. These include Hungary’s Fidesz, the Italian League and Five Star Movement, the Flemish Flaams Belang, Poland’s Law and Justice, Belgian People’s Party, the Progress Party of Norway (of which Breivik was a member), True Finns Party, France’s National Rally, Alternative for Deutschland, and many others. It is likely that Tarrant, like Breivik, is not anti-semitic and actually views Jews as ‘allies’ in a civilizational crusade against Islam. Just as Israel has helped orchestrate the US wars in the Middle East against its enemies that has contributed to the mass influx of refugees seeking asylum in the West, it has fostered the Islamophobic backlash to it by supporting the growing far right movement that is ascendant.

Following the tragedy in Christchurch, it was revealed that 28-year old Tarrant had traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia, including to Afghanistan, Pakistan and even North Korea. The year prior, he also visited Israel for nine days, just as his fellow Christian Zionist Breivik had done several times prior to 2011. Tarrant’s journey in Europe included a stop in Ukraine, a hotbed of neo-Nazi activity and as it happens during the massacre he donned the SS wolf’s hook symbol used by the right wing paramilitary group Azov Battalion to which Israel has provided weapons support in its fight against pro-Russian separatists. The blend of such considerable travel activity while stockpiling a cache of semi-automatic firearms with a digital footprint espousing his extremist views online makes the likelihood that Tarrant managed to remain under the radar of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (SIS) difficult to believe. It is especially doubtful they would be unable to detect him considering he was reportedly interviewed by New Zealand police prior to obtaining his firearms license in 2017.

Judging by the Facebook live-streamed video of the massacre shot by the suspect himself wearing a GoPro head-mounted camera that resembled first-person shooter video game shows he was no amateur and possibly professionally trained as a militant. Given his extensive travel and the apparent expertise used to carry out the attacks, there are many legitimate questions about how his ventures were sponsored and whether he had accomplices. Police found undetonated car bombs in addition to his arsenal and believe he was planning on carrying out a third attack with them. What was he doing in his travels? Was he really able to finance everything alone using crypto-currency investments as purported by the media? He could very well have been a patsy in a larger plot or received support from abroad. For instance, from a certain national intelligence service whose notorious motto is “for by cunning stratagems, you wage war.”

Mossad covert operations have been exposed several times over the years violating New Zealand’s sovereignty and international law which caused a series of diplomatic rows between the two countries. Most recently was in 2011 following a 6.2 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch which caused significant damage to the city and killed 185 people, coincidentally the very same week as the attacks in Norway by Anders Breivik. Incredibly, a stone structure of a building collapsed onto a van during the earthquake which killed a man inside who turned out to be an Israeli national. His death accidentally unearthed a ring of Mossad agents after the man was discovered with multiple fake passports and USB flash drives which contained confidential data believed to have been illegally downloaded from the New Zealand police’s national computer system. The other agents in the Israeli sleeper cell were able to flee the country less than a day after his body was discovered, probably to avoid the fallout that occurred after an earlier incident in the country just a few years prior. In 2004, two Israeli men who turned out to be Mossad agents were arrested trying to obtain fraudulent passports and travel documentation that included stealing the identity of a quadriplegic. The two men were subsequently jailed for six months for engaging in criminal enterprise.

Pictured: Uriel Zosha Kelman, an Israeli spy, arrives in court in disguise in 2004 (left)) / Zev Barkan, another spy (right).

Mossad seemed to have developed a habit of revealing themselves in light of the infamous arrest of five of its agents in Secaucus, New Jersey on the morning of September 11th, 2001 by the FBI who were tipped off that a group of men were observed suspiciously dancing and celebrating while watching the WTC towers ablaze and collapsing across the Hudson River. The “dancing Israelis” were found with $5,000 in cash which raised suspicions while their vehicle was traced to a shady moving company called Urban Moving Systems that was suspected to be a front for an intelligence operation after their headquarters was abandoned and its owner, Dominick Suter, immediately fled to Israel following their apprehension. During their two month detention, the CIA intervened and halted the probe while the agents were subsequently deported in a deal with the Israeli government for overstaying their visas but not before it was confirmed that at least two of the men were intelligence officers and no ordinary moving company employees.

The world was briefly reminded of this mysterious case when Donald Trump as a presidential candidate in 2016 made the wild exaggeration that on 9/11 he had personally observed “thousands of Muslims” celebrating the destruction of the Twin Towers across the river in New Jersey. It is likely that Trump mixed up two different reports from 9/11, one of Reuters footage widely circulated by major networks of a small group of Arabs in East Jerusalem celebrating the attacks and the reports about the Israelis arrested in New Jersey who were initially believed to have been of “Middle Eastern appearance” and descent. One wonders if Trump would accurately recall his other observations that morning now that he is in the service of his Saudi and Israeli masters. Needless to say, this widely suppressed story which should have been front page news led many to rightly suspect there was prior knowledge and even direct involvement among Israeli intelligence in the 9/11 attacks, along with a trove of other evidence.

ABC News Friday 06/21/2002 05:42:40 pm-05:46:50 pm (Studio: Elizabeth Vargas) Report introduced. (Studio: John Miller) Exclusive ABC News investigation into what five Israelis were doing on …

The New Jersey cell were also in possession of foreign passports. Mossad has typically used fake passports, including that of Australians and Kiwis, regularly for its clandestine operations and carrying out assassinations like the 2010 targeted killing of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai which one of the spies apprehended in New Zealand, Zev Barkan, was involved in. After the arrest of the two spooks in New Zealand in 2004, the government imposed diplomatic sanctions against Israel and temporarily severed high-level contacts between the two countries in what became a significant diplomatic rift. WikiLeaks diplomatic cables revealed that the U.S. was not at all pleased.

Relations had returned to normal between the countries until December 2016 when along with Malaysia, Senegal, Venezuela and others, New Zealand co-sponsored the controversial United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 which condemned Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories during the last months of the Obama administration. The same motion briefly became mired in the Trump-Russia investigation when former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about lobbying activities related to the resolution during the transition between administrations on behalf of Israel. The Trump White House has since proven to be the most fanatically Zionist presidency since the foundation of the Jewish state in 1948. Over the years, New Zealand has shown a willingness to stand up to Jerusalem and its brazen disregard for international law that other nations could learn from. Despite being a small nation, it has played an important role in pro-Palestinian activism and the prospect of Palestinian statehood just as it did in protesting South African Apartheid in the 1980s. In 2018, when New Zealand-born popular musician Lorde canceled a concert in Tel Aviv in solidarity with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, she became the target of vicious Zionist smear campaign which saw right-wing Trumpist Rabbi Schmuley Boteach take out a full-page ad in The Washington Post denouncing her as a bigot while a $13,000 lawsuit was filed by the Mossad-linked Shurat HaDin lawfare NGO. Meanwhile, unlike Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Jacinda Ardern has been critical of the Trump administration’s move of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, stating it undermines the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

New Zealand’s relatively even-handed foreign policy has likely rattled the Zionists and their far right Islamophobic counterparts in the West and it is possible that it is viewed as a threat to the interests of Israel and the U.S. The feasibly manufactured terrorist attack against New Zealand has greatly disrupted the small country, a state which in 2018 had its lowest homicide rate in 40 years and averages well below 100 murders per year, making this attack an extremely rare occurrence for the peaceful country. In light of the attacks on the mosques in Christchurch, it could now end up acquiring the police state model of the U.S. and Israel as part of the global ‘War on Terror.’ The country immediately issued a ban on semiautomatic weapons following the tragedy in a disturbing rollback of civil liberties while engaging in an unprecedented censorship effort to criminalize sharing and possession of Tarrant’s manifesto and video. Prior to Breivik’s perpetration of the attacks in Norway, there had been significant political tensions between Oslo and Jerusalem in the months leading up to the violence due to Norway’s intent to recognize a Palestinian state and the circumstances in relations between New Zealand and Israel prior to Christchurch is eerily reminiscent.

Israel has a storied history of being a state sponsor of international terrorism as well as the use of ‘false flag’ operations to achieve its political objectives, most notably in the 1954 Lavon Affair, codenamed Operation Susannah, where the Aman branch of its military intelligence services recruited Egyptian nationals to commit bombings to be blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood in order to maintain desired British military presence in Egypt. It continues such cloak-and-dagger tactics to this day with the use of terror proxies such as the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) and Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) to undermine Iran, as well as the arming and funding of al-Qaeda affiliated Syrian jihadist groups against the Assad government. If it is willing to co-sponsor radical Islamists with its ally Saudi Arabia to attack their mutual regional enemies, now that the ruling Likud Party has made strange bedfellows with far right Islamophobes in the West it is within the realm of possibility it would continue to do the same especially when the victims are Arab or Muslim.

Regardless of whether or not there turns out to be any Mossad fingerprints discovered on the Christchurch shootings, if the world is serious about confronting the emerging far right internationally it must be willing to accurately diagnose the phenomenon. One of its most distinctive attributes is its Christian Zionism and a shared belief that the Bible gives Israel evidential right to Palestinian land and that Jews are inherently non-indigenous to Europe. The ever-expanding colonization of the West Bank and Gaza has solidified Israel’s nationalist foundations, especially now that Arabic has been removed as a second official language and the passing of the 2018 Nationality Law defining Israel as an ethno-nationalist state with Arabs officially second-class citizens. If Israel did not directly participate in the 9/11 attacks by infiltrating the al-Qaeda cell in Hamburg, Germany and directing the airplane hijackings as many legitimately suspect, it has certainly facilitated the U.S. wars in the Middle East against its regional enemies and now it is nurturing the Islamophobic far right in the West hostile to the flood of displaced refugees fleeing them. Israeli policy has principally benefited from all this but one can only expect the hasbaric retaliation of ‘anti-Semitism’ smears like those against UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota for pointing this out. In the meantime, the Russiagate hoax has deflected attention away from Jerusalem toward Moscow in regards to foreign cultivation of the growing far right nationalist movement in the West. One hopes the recent bust of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report will put some of the distraction to rest and shift the speculation toward Israel where it belongs.

Finally, the political confusion of zealots like Tarrant needs to be addressed as entirely predictable instead of as unintended consequences of the War on Terror and the financial crisis. Recently, 2020 Democratic U.S. Presidential candidate Andrew Yang became the subject of establishment-led smears simply for acknowledging verifiable facts about declining birth-rates of white Americans where he was vilified as adjoining with the views of those like Tarrant. Yet these statistics designated by race that Yang recognized are expressions of the results of class conflict while genuine anger is being misdirected toward immigrants instead of capital and its never-ending changes in labor demands. This is the cycle which must be broken if this holy war between the West and Islam stirred up by Zionists or what the orientialist Samuel Huntington called the ‘clash of civilizations’ is to end. If not, we cannot only expect the U.S. empire to continue its downward slide and its fear of a multipolar world to culminate in an internecine that will turn the whole world into a tragedy like Christchurch.

March 26, 2019 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Islamophobia, Zionism | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Malaysia’s Decision to Bar Israeli Athletes Was Much Needed

By Yousef Aljamal | Palestine Chronicle | January 22, 2019

Malaysia has historically been a strong supporter of the Palestinian people who experienced and continue to experience colonization, military occupation and many forms of discrimination for over 100 years.

In fact, it has always been Malaysia’s policy to support the Palestinian people, who have suffered immensely due to the ongoing Zionist colonization project in Palestine, which resulted in establishing Israel on the ruins of Palestinian homes.

Support for Palestine has been expressed under different Malaysian governments, most notably under the administrations of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who has always been vocal in his criticism of Israel’s discriminatory and militant policies.

Palestine has always enjoyed the support of ordinary Malaysians, who exhibited their strong solidarity, often in emotional ways, during times of Israeli wars on the Gaza Strip in 2008-9, 2012 and 2014.

Islam and its shared values among Palestinians and Malaysians have always played a big part in the existing rapport between both nations.

However, due to existing ethnic tensions in the country, solidarity with the Palestinian people, has, at times, seemed confined to the Malay Muslim community.

While such a truth remains paramount, perspectives began to change in recent years, as Chinese and Indian communities developed a keener understanding of the situation in Palestine. Therefore, seeing Chinese and Indian activists at the forefront of Palestine solidarity in Malaysia is no longer a rare event. A reason behind this important shift is the fact that the approach of solidarity itself evolved from a religious-based appeal to a human-rights based one.

The year 2015 saw the first Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) conference in the country, held at the University of Malaya, where the importance of boycott as a political tool for change was stressed and thoroughly discussed.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that a radical shift started on that very date. More Malaysians engaged with the BDS movement then, launching campaigns against HP, G4S and other international companies involved in facilitating Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

Therefore, the decision by Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, to ban Israeli athletes is a rational step in that direction.

Last year, Malaysians voted in historical elections that changed their government to what many Malaysians hoped would be in the best interests of their country. The move by the Malaysian government to ban Israeli athletes from participating in an international sports event set to be held in the city of Kuching this year is a representation of this momentous change.

The elections, many hope, would decrease ethnic tensions and bring more justice to all Malaysians.

Palestinians have been suffering under Israeli colonization and military occupation for more than 70 years. Despite massive Palestinian political and territorial compromises, Israel gave up nothing. For example, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has conceded 78% of historic Palestine in return for peace, which never actualized. To the contrary, the pace of illegal Jewish construction has increased by several folds and military occupation of Palestine is more entrenched than ever before.

This grim reality was the main motive behind the 2005 call by Palestinian civil society to boycott Israel. The BDS movement is the outcome of that collective Palestinian decision.

According to this call, Palestinians demand:

  1. Ending Israeli occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Apartheid Wall.
  2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality.
  3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in United Nations Resolution 194.

The truth is this, Israel has never respected Malaysia, its people and national security. The Israeli Mossad is widely believed to have been behind the assassination of Palestinian scholar Dr. Fadi Al-Batsh on a Malaysian soil last year. Thus, Israel has actively been engaged in harming Malaysia’s national security. This alone should be a compelling rationale for Malaysia – which has no diplomatic relationship with Israel anyway – to ban Israeli athletes.

Sports and politics are directly linked as the boycott of the South African Apartheid regime has shown in the past. Malaysia certainly did the right thing by banning Israeli athletes, especially as the Palestinian people are reduced to live in disconnected Bantustans in the West Bank and under a hermetic siege in Gaza.

Malaysians are important in the global solidarity movement, and their support for BDS can prove crucial considering the country’s large and diverse economy. This country, which has often chosen morality over politics can indeed help the Palestinian people end the oppressed Israeli Apartheid regime.

As a Malaysia Alumnus, and a Palestinian who lost two of my siblings because of Israel’s colonization, I call upon every single Malaysian to support equality for all in Palestine, by contributing to our collective struggle through the BDS movement.

Apartheid can only be defeated when we all realize that “a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

January 22, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Goldman Sachs faces criminal charges in Malaysia for helping billions vanish from state fund

RT | December 18, 2018

Malaysia filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs and two ex-bankers over the multi-billion dollar looting of state fund, 1MDB. The US bank denies the accusation, claiming it was deceived by the previous Malaysian government.

The subsidiaries of the Wall Street banking giant and its former key employees, ex-chairman of Goldman’s South East Asia, Tim Leissner, and ex-managing director, Roger Ng, are accused of giving false statements when helping to arrange bonds for 1MDB, Malaysia’s Attorney General Tommy Thomas announced on Monday.

Malaysia says the accused wanted to misappropriate $2.7 billion from $6.5 billion in bonds, issued by 1MDB and underwritten by Goldman Sachs, in three separate offerings between 2012 and 2013.

Malaysia also filed charges against former employee of 1MDB Jasmine Loo Ai Swan and local financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, who maintains his innocence. The prosecution believes the duo conspired with Leissner and Ng to bribe officials in order to procure the selection, involvement and participation of Goldman Sachs in these bond issuances.

Now Kuala Lumpur is seeking to take back the misappropriated $2.7 billion from Goldman Sachs as well as $600 million in fees received by the bank. The prosecution is demanding fines and up to 10 years behind bars for each of the accused. The fines may amount to at least 1 million ringgit ($240,000), according to the charge sheets, seen by Reuters.

Billions of dollars from the Malaysian fund were reportedly used to buy everything from Beverly hills mansions, yachts and a private jet to artworks among other things in a fraud that allegedly involved former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

As Malaysia brought the charges, the bank hit back, claiming that it was the victim of deceptive Malaysian officials. The long-running scandal has already rocked the bank’s shares this year, which dropped more than 30 percent.

“Certain members of the former Malaysian government and 1MDB lied to Goldman Sachs, outside counsel and others about the use of proceeds from these transactions,” Goldman said in a statement cited by media. It added that the charges have no effect on its “ability to conduct our current business globally.”

Analysts warn that the scandal is just the tip of the iceberg of the bank’s “criminal” deeds. Despite being investigated in several countries, including in the US, no matter the crimes, Goldman chiefs will never go to jail as they are too close to both sides of the US political aisle, Jack Rasmus, professor of political economy at St. Mary’s College told RT. He also warned that the bank is driving the world to the next financial crisis.

“They just haven’t been caught in the other places,” Rasmus said in an interview to RT. “We’re on the verge of another financial crisis that will make the last one pale in comparison and Goldman Sachs and businesses like them are at the center of the cause of this.”

December 18, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics | , | 1 Comment

Ex-Goldman Banker To Plead Guilty To 1MDB Criminal Charges, Forfeit $44 Million

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | November 1, 2018

Last we checked in with former Goldman Sachs SE Asia chairman Tim Leissner, the banker was nearing the nadir of a dramatic fall from grace that resulted in him being terminated from the bank, as it sought to distance itself from a series of shady bond underwritings organized by Leissner.

Goldman, as first reported in 2016, was deeply involved with the Malaysian government’s efforts to seed the 1MDB development fund, which, as we now know thanks to the DOJ, was used by former Malaysian President Najib Razak as his own personal slush fund, with most of the money going to purchase luxury yachts, paints – and some of the money was even used to help finance the Hollywood blockbuster “The Wolf of Wall Street”. In total, Razak and his cronies are believed to have stolen nearly $700 million.

Leissner

Tim Leissner and Kimora Lee Simmons Leissner

Back in July, it was believed that Leissner was planning to cooperate with federal authorities, raising the possibility that he could help expose some of the endemically corrupt practices happening behind the scenes at the Vampire Squid. Since WSJ exposed the fraud back in 2015 after 1MDB missed bond payments, the scandal has riveted the financial press and drawn intense scrutiny from the DOJ, with AG Jeff Sessions calling it “kleptocracy at its worst.”

And now it appears Leissner – who is married to Kimora Lee-Simmons – has done just that. As the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday morning, the former banker is expected to plead guilty to conspiracy to launder money and violate the FCPA. As part of the settlement, he has agreed to a $44 million fine for his role in the scandal – a guilty plea that, we imagine, will lead to his eventual cooperation.

But while Leissner’s situation is hardly ideal, his former deputy has it even worse. Roger Ng, the former deputy director of Goldman’s SE Asia practice, is expected to be indicted by the DOJ, alongside Jho Low, the Malaysian financier whose exploits have been widely chronicled in the Western media. Low allegedly masterminded the 1MDB fraud.

Last week, Razak and his former Treasury secretary were charged with criminal breach of trust, months after Razak was imprisoned shortly after losing his reelection race to a rival who had promised to prosecute him.

As the DOJ prepares its announcement, attention will now turn to what, exactly, Leissner told investigators and whether his former employer could be held liable.

November 1, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , | 3 Comments

US Still Seeks Regime Change Across Asia

By Ulson Gunnar – New Eastern Outlook – 26.11.2016

While the US could accurately be described as a global power in decline, the ambitions of prominent special interests at the center of its economic and political power still pose a potent threat to global stability and national sovereignty worldwide. In Asia particularly, despite a clear shift in a regional balance of power that has persisted for nearly a century, the US is still actively involved in attempting to dictate which governments come to power in respective nation-states and how they rule and all in an attempt to create a balance of power in Asia that serves US interests.

From Myanmar to Vietnam, US Ambitions Still a Clear and Present Danger 

US ambition to transform Asia manifests itself in a number of ways. In Malaysia, it has been fueling for years the so-called Bersih movement and its campaign for “clean and fair elections.” While the movement attempted to appear spontaneous and independent of any political party, it was quickly revealed that its core leadership was funded by the US State Department via the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and Open Society. It was also revealed that Bersih was in fact an auxiliary front of a political coalition headed by US-backed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim who quite literally led the protests in the streets himself.

Extensive US support has been provided to the now ruling government of Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar, including the creation of Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy’s (NLD) entire media capabilities. Pro-NLD media platforms created and funded annually by the US government include the New Era Journal, the Irrawaddy, and the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB). It was also revealed that Suu Kyi’s Minister of Information, Pe Myint, was quite literally trained in Bangkok by the US government-funded Indochina Media Memorial Foundation, which now co-occupies the Western media’s Foreign Correspondents Club (FCCT) office in Bangkok.

In Thailand, in addition to the substantial lobbying support the above mentioned FCCT provides the ousted US-backed regime of Thaksin Shinawatra and his also-ousted sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, the US government funds a large number of supposed “nongovernmental organizations” (NGOs) in a bid to create the illusion of a legitimate, pro-democracy opposition. The Shinawatra family also enjoys continued lobbying support from Washington, with influential firms having registered on their behalf every year since at least as early as 2006.

Currently, US lobbyists are still active in supporting the Shinawatra regime and their political supporters within Thailand. The Shinawatra’s themselves are still positioning themselves to retake power, and the US media is still turning out a large amount of content aimed at setting the stage for continued political conflict within the country.

In Cambodia, opposition leader Sam Rainsy has received years of support from the US government and America’s European allies, including regular political and media support from the US State Department’s Voice of America (VOA) network.

Indonesia strains under pressure put on the government and society by US and Saudi-backed groups capable of mobilizing large numbers of protesters both to augment their own political power and to put pressure on the current ruling government in a bid to roll back growing ties between Jakarta and Beijing.

And while Vietnam lacks any clearly visible, central opposition figure, the US has steadfastly built up an opposition movement with which to pressure the Vietnamese government.

Cultural Colonization via YSEALI 

Collectively, across the entire Southeast Asian region, the US is engaged in what some analysts have called “cultural colonization,” particularly with a program it calls Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) in which the US State Department actively recruits, indoctrinates and directs young Asian students and professionals toward building a pro-Western opposition front. This includes a program called “Generation: Go NGO!” in which the US creates and directs a growing network of US government funded fronts posing as “nongovernmental organizations.”

Mirroring a modern day version of the very sort of imperial networks constructed by the British Empire across Asia, America’s reach into Asia seeks to reinvent and reassert Western domination across Asia Pacific. Not only does it seek to dominate the respective people, resources, economies and politics of nations in Southeast Asia, but it also seeks the creation of a united front with which to encircle, contain and eventually displace Beijing’s growing influence in the region.

Asserting Economic Hegemony via the TPP

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a decidedly US dominated project, sought to string Asian states together in an economic alliance opposed to China’s rising regional and global influence. The deal’s details were introduced and brokered in secret, contravening any sense of self-determination for those nations and people subjected to it. Ultimately, the inequitable conditions of the deal required coercion and bribery to move forward, and despite great efforts, it appears that it will not likely succeed.

Nations like Thailand have categorically refused to sign the deal thus far, and nations like Vietnam who had initially promised to sign it, have wavered. The US’ desperation in moving through deals like the TPP may also explain the expansive networks it has constructed and continues to construct to apply pressure on both Asia as a region, and each nation individually.

Combating US Primacy 

Such aspirations are more than mere speculation, and are instead derived from the writings of prominent US policymakers, including Robert Blackwill who in 2015 penned an entire paper about reasserting US “primacy” over Asia. Blackwill, it should be noted, served as a lobbyist for the above mentioned US proxy Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand.

For Asia collectively, and for each nation respectively, the need for an international voice as Russia’s RT or China’s CCTV has granted Moscow and Beijing , is essential for challenging and overcoming divisive and destructive narratives perpetuated by the Western media. It is also an important factor in exposing and diminishing the influence of US-backed political opposition parties and the army of US-funded fronts posing as “NGOs.”

And while instinctively, building closer ties with China may seem to be a viable formula to balancing a US that seeks to reassert itself, such ties must be done within a larger regional framework to build a sustainable balance of power. Simply trading US hegemony in for Chinese hegemony, would fail to serve the rest of Asia’s interests well. For each respective Asian state, strong domestic institutions, economies, education systems and military institutions ensures not only America’s inability of asserting its interests over those of each nation’s, but also heads off China from filling in and exploiting the void left by a retreating United States.

November 26, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Economics | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Malaysia: US Loses Another Key Ally in Asia Pacific Region

By Alex GORKA | Strategic Culture Foundation | 07.11.2016

Malaysia is another old time America’s ally to shift away from the US orbit following the Philippines. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak visited China on October 31-November 6 to sign 14 agreements totaling 143.64 billion ringgit ($34.25 billion), including a defence deal.  Malaysia agreed to buy four Chinese littoral combat ships. Two will be built in China and two in Malaysia.

The rapprochement has taken place despite the differences over the South China Sea territorial disputes. During the visit, both countries pledged closer cooperation to handle the problem bilaterally to counter US influence in the region.

Najib Razak said Malaysia welcomed the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank which marks a turning point «of peaceful dialogue, not foreign intervention, in sovereign states». Global institutions needed to be inclusive of «countries that were given no say in the legal and security infrastructure that was set up by the victors of the Second World War», he noted.

China has increasingly invested in Malaysia and is implementing major infrastructure and other projects in the country. Chinese companies are widely expected to win a planned $15bn high-speed rail project linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore – a new rail line on Malaysia’s east coast. With the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in jeopardy, the US seems to have little leverage over Malaysian foreign policy.

The trip marks another potential setback for US Asia «pivot» policy. The event took place against the background of worsening relations between the US and the Philippines. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has made statements about his intent to break the military alliance with the United States and shift to the partnership with China and Russia. He had visited Beijing to defy America just two weeks before Mr. Razak’s trip.

Bridget Welsh, a Southeast Asia politics analyst, said, «This is the new regional norm. Now China is implementing the power and the US is in retreat», adding Washington’s Asia «pivot» was «dead in the water».

Russia-Malaysia relations are also on the rise. In 2017 the two countries will mark the 50th anniversary since the diplomatic ties were established in 1967.

In May, the Malaysian PM visited Sochi, Russia, leading a delegation to the ASEAN-Russia Commemorative Summit. Back then, Russian President Vladimir Putin said,  «We will be pleased to develop relations in the humanitarian sphere, in the economy, investments and of course in the military sphere, or in the sphere of military-technical cooperation».

The Russia-produced Sukhoi Su-30MKM is the most advanced fighter in the inventory of the Royal Malaysian Air Force.  The contract to deliver 18 jets was signed in 2003 during the Russian president’s official visit to Malaysia. The purchase of Su-34 and Su-35 Russian jets is on the agenda.

Malaysian Defense Minister Hishamuddin Hussein believes  his country should «look to the future, to a new era of military-technical cooperation with Russia». Russia took part in the 15th Defense Services Asia Exhibition and Conference on April 18-21, 2016, in Kuala Lumpur to demonstrate the Mi-171Sh helicopter, the T-90MS tank, the BTR-82A armored vehicle, and the Pantsir-S1 air defense system.

Malaysia will explore the possibility of signing a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

There are other facts to prove the fact that the US loses its clout in the Asia Pacific region. Japanese banks and development institutions may offer loans to Russian regional banks. Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko told TASS in an interview.

It was also reported that the government-backed Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) will provide about 4 billion yen ($38.5 million) in financing to Sberbank of Russia, in open defiance of Western sanctions. The US and the European Union have effectively banned lending to certain Russian companies and financial institutions, including Sberbank, as part of sanctions imposed on Russia in 2014. The announcement comes before the President Putin’s visit to Japan in December.

The JBIC also plans to make investments into the Yamal LNG gas project. The JBIC is likely to set up a special fund to invest in Russian projects together with the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

The economic cooperation with Russia definitely threatens the Group of Seven’s united front on sanctions. The move will most certainly provoke Washington’s anger but Tokyo finds the development of ties with Russia important enough to risk it. The US influence in the region is not strong enough to prevent Japan from pursuing its national interests.

With the Philippines and Malaysia shifting away from US orbit, Washington is finding itself with increasingly fewer allies in the region. The Asia Pacific «pivot» appears to be another foreign policy failure in addition to the Middle Eastern debacle. In addition, the US faces a major setback as Europe rejects the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

America is a global power in retreat. A new US president will have to face this reality. The events in the Asia Pacific region provide a good example to support this obvious fact. In a very short period of time the US has lost two major allies in the region. Japan defies the anti-Russia sanctions regime. The American century seems to be fading away as other poles of power emerge on the world map.

November 7, 2016 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Malaysia buys China warships in ‘landmark’ deal

Press TV – November 2, 2016

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has announced a deal with China to buy four warships, in a potential shift away from the United States.

Najib, who is on a six-day visit to China, described the deal as “landmark,” because “before this we have not bought such vessels from China,” he wrote in an editorial in the China Daily on Wednesday.

He said that under the terms of the deal, Beijing will build two of the combat vessels in Malaysia and two in China. The ships are known as littoral mission ships, small craft that operate close to the shore.

China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said the agreement would increase mutual trust between the two counties.

Malaysia had so far been acquiring its major military equipment, particularly for the air force, from the United States.

Observers say the deal, a first of its kind, may be the prelude to a new regional norm.

Earlier, the Philippines had announced its “separation” from the US.

“This is the new regional norm. Now China is implementing the power and the US is in retreat,” said Bridget Welsh, a political analyst.

The agreement also comes at a time of tension between Malaysia and the US.

The US Justice Department in July seized more than one billion dollars in assets it said were purchased by Najib’s relatives and associates using money alleged to have been stolen in a scandal that hit Malaysia last year.

Malaysia and China have a dispute of their own as well. Territory in the South China Sea, which is completely claimed by China, is also claimed by Malaysia, and a number of other countries.

In his Wednesday article, however, Najib said the dispute should be resolved through dialog in accordance with rule of law, in another sign of a lean toward China.

November 2, 2016 Posted by | Economics | , | Leave a comment

Why is a Hong Kong “Activist” in Bangkok?

The New Atlas – October 5, 2016

Joshua Wong’s alleged arrest at a Bangkok airport is portrayed as a slight against “democracy,” yet the US-funded and backed agitator undermines his own principles of “self-determination” by meddling in another nation’s politics.

Thai PBS in its article, “HK democracy activist Joshua Wong detained in Bangkok,” would claim:

Wong, 19, famed for his galvanising role in the city’s 2014 pro-democracy “umbrella movement”, was held as he landed at the airport late Tuesday, his party Demosisto said in a statement, citing a Thai student activist, Netiwit Chotipatpaisal, who was due to meet him.

Wong was invited by Thai student activists to take part at an event marking the anniversary of a military crackdown in October 1976.

Demosisto “strongly condemns the Thai government for unreasonably limiting Wong’s freedom and right to entry, and requests the immediate release of Wong,” the statement said.

What Thai PBS fails to mention is that Joshua Wong and his party, “Demosisto,” are US-funded and directed, and represent Western interests attempting to subvert Chinese control over its own territory of Hong Kong, as well as undermine national sovereignty across the entire Asian region.

Indeed, the entire “Occupy Central” movement, also referred to as the “Umbrella Revolution,” was led by US-backed opposition figures, including Joshua Wong, Benny Tai and Martin Lee, the latter of which was literally in Washington D.C. lobbying for backing just months before the 2014 protest began.

While the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) initially denied it provided any assistance to the movement and denied specifically that Martin Lee served any role in leading the protests despite his Washington visit, NED through its subsidiary Freedom House, would eventually invite Wong, Tai and Lee back to Washington afterwards to award them for role in leading the protests.

Joshua Wong in Washington D.C. attending a US State Department award ceremony held in his and other US-backed agitators’ honor

At the award ceremony titled, “Three Hong Kong Heroes,” Lee would shuffle onto stage with an umbrella prop in hand, a virtual admission to his leadership role in the protests and confirmation that NED’s previous statement was intentionally false.

Wong’s political party, Demosisto, headed by Nathan Lee, is also tied directly to the US State Department’s NED.

Nathan Law (left) with Carl Gershman of the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

Nathan Law in particular was featured on the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) website “World Movement for Democracy” in a post titled, “Democracy Courage Tribute Award Presentation.” In it, NED would write in regards to the award presented to Nathan Lee:

The Umbrella Movement’s bold call in the fall of 2014 for a free and fair election process to select the city’s leaders brought thousands into the streets to dem­onstrate peacefully. The images from these protests have motivated Chinese democracy activists on the mainland and resulted in solidarity between longtime champions of democracy in Hong Kong and a new gen­eration of Hong Kong youth seeking to improve their city. The Hong Kong democracy movement will face further obstacles in the years to come, and their ide­alism and bravery will need to be supported as they work for democratic representation in Hong Kong.

The ceremony was yet another in a long line of post-Occupy Central award ceremonies the US State Department conducted, rewarding its proxies for their efforts in the streets of Hong Kong in 2014.

Joshua Wong Was Barred Entry into Malaysia for Similarly Inappropriate Political Pandering 

In 2015, Malaysia too would confront Wong and his attempts to spread US-backed subversion across Asia.

That PBS would also report in an article titled, “HK student activist Joshua Wong denied entry to Malaysia,” that:

Immigration officials on Tuesday barred Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong from entering Malaysia at the Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas, The Star Online reported.

Wong was scheduled to attend a forum titled “The Uprising of Youth and New Social Activism in Singapore and Hong Kong” at Auditorium A in Komta on Tuesday night.

It is also worth noting that after Wong was denied entry, US-funded organisations posing as nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) immediately took to social media in an attempt to criticise the Malaysian government’s decision.

Malaysian online news service, The Star, in an article titled, “Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong denied entry to Malaysia,” would further elaborate:

Malaysia… explain why he is sent back to Hong Kong? Afraid of more street protests,” tweeted Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah.

Bersih, like Joshua Wong’s Demosisto, is openly funded by the US State Department and represents Washington’s, not the people of Malaysia’s interests. Bersih would be revealed in 2011 to have received funding and training from the US State Department via the National Democratic Institute (NDI), another NED subsidiary.

Democracy Means Self-Determination, Not Dictates from Washington & its Proxies  

It is perhaps ironic that Wong himself and his supporters portray him as a “democracy activist,” considering that one of the central principles of democracy is the concept of self-determination. Self-determination means that a nation’s people themselves determine what course of action is in their best interests, free from the influence of foreign interests.

The concept of self-determination underpins the national identity of many nations across Southeast Asia, having had their respective national destinies dictated to them at various points throughout their history by European colonialism. Independence and self-determination across the region represent hard-fought achievements threatened by US-backed political fronts wielding “soft power” in place of the overt “gunboat diplomacy” practised by the British Empire in days past.

Worse than mere foreign backing, Wong and his Demosisto political party work ceaselessly to promote the parting demands made by British colonial administrators as Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997. These demands, including upholding the “one country, two systems” and “Basic Law” drafted just ahead of the British handover of Hong Kong, are echoed by the current governments of both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Thus, Wong and his political party, Demosisto, work contra to Hong Kong’s self-determination, promoting the parting policy of the British Empire imposed on a still emerging China in 1997.

By Wong meddling in the internal affairs of neighbouring Asian states, attempting to bolster US State Department efforts elsewhere to create proxy political fronts to serve Washington rather than local interests, he is also trampling the concept of regional self-determination, and thus of democracy itself.

In Thailand specifically, Wong sought to support anti-government agitators likewise seeking to subvert Thai sovereignty and return to power political parties loyal to Washington.

Wong’s admirers find among themselves a common denominator of affinity toward the United States and American politics. They believe themselves to be enlightened supporters of freedom, democracy and human rights, despite the reality of US foreign and domestic policy standing firmly against all three of these basic and essential principles.

From the invasion and occupation of foreign nations around the globe, to the detainment and torturing of people worldwide, to the violence and brutality American police deploy against the American population at home, to the invasive abuse of the American people’s right to privacy, American politics in reality exist separately from the ideals cadres of indoctrinated foreigners have been led into believing the US stands for.

Wong and his Demosisto political party and other US-backed political fronts like them, represent a danger to freedom, democracy and human rights, serving as a facade behind which US special interests hide their true, self-serving agenda and all of the abuse that surrounds it. By serving as a facade for foreign interests, merely posing as a proponent of democracy and self-determination, it is Wong and those like him that truly endanger democracy’s future in Asia, not those awaiting him at airports, turning him and his US-backed agitation away.

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October 6, 2016 Posted by | Deception | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MH17: The Continuing Charade

By James ONeill – New Eastern Outlook – 31.05.2016

The Sun Herald (Sydney) of 22 May 2016 reported that the Australian families of the MH17 disaster had “served” the European court of Human Rights (ECHR) with a claim seeking compensation of $10 million for each victim.

The report referred to the “proposed respondents” to the claim being the Russian Federation and its President Vladimir Putin. The solicitor acting for the plaintiffs was quoted in a separate report claiming, “we have facts, photographs, memorandums (sic), tonnes of stuff.” He also claimed that the claim document ran to “over 3500 pages in length.”

These reports closely followed the publication of the New South Wales Coroner’s Court report into the deaths of six of the victims who were resident in New South Wales. The Coroner’s findings closely followed those of the Report of the Dutch Safety Board of 13 October 2015, attributing the deaths of those aboard MH17 to a BUK missile detonating close to the aircraft, causing the plane to disintegrate and a consequent immediate loss of life to all aboard.

It was not part of the Coroner’s jurisdiction to attribute blame, that being the subject of a separate criminal investigation (JIT). The results of that investigation are expected to be announced later this year.

The Dutch head of the JIT investigation, Mr Fred Westerbeke wrote to all the Dutch victim’s families in February 2016 giving them an update on the investigation. A query to the Australian Federal Police as to whether the Australian families might receive a similar briefing was effectively ignored.

Something Mr Westerbeke did say that was of particular interest was that the United States had released their satellite data to the Dutch Security Services. Whether that data could be used and if so in what format, was for security reasons an unresolved issue.

Those data are of considerable significance. It is known that there were three US satellites overhead the Donbass region at the material time. They had the undoubted capability of determining exactly what was fired at MH17, from precisely where, and by whom. US Secretary of State John Kerry claimed as much in an interview with NBC shortly after the tragedy.

The American refusal to publically release the data leads to the very strong inference that it is being concealed for the reason that it does not support the “blame Russia” meme so favoured by the western media.

The incuriosity of the Australian media was again on display when they gave extensive coverage to the report of the alleged claim being filed in the ECHR.

There are a number of problems with this purported claim, accepted so uncritically be the Australian media. There was a clue in the use of the phrase “proposed respondents”. If proceedings had been filed in any court, then the respondents are not “proposed”. They either are or they are not.

A check with the ECHR website on 26 May 2016 showed that there was no record of any such claim having been filed. John Helmer, on his website reports a similarly negative result when a query was made with the ECHR’s Registrar.

The problems with the alleged claim do not stop there. As noted above, the plaintiff’s solicitor said that the claim ran to more than 3500 pages. Rule 47 of the ECHR’s Rules state that the application must contain:

(e) a concise and legible statement of the facts;

(f) a concise and legible statement of the alleged violation(s) of the Convention; and

(g) a concise and legible statement confirming the applicant’s compliance with the admissibility criteria laid down in Article 35(1) of the Convention.

Whatever else they may be, a 3500-page claim does not remotely comply with any definition of “concise.”

The ECHR Rules further provide that any additional submissions do not exceed 20 pages (Rule 47 (2) (b)) in length.

The plaintiffs have failed to provide any relevant details from their 3500 page claim (or at all) that would enable an independent observer to assess what “facts, photographs and memoranda” they have that were not available to the Dutch Safety Board Inquiry. Given the combined resources available to the Dutch led inquiry, it would be remarkable that a firm of solicitors would be able to state their claims so categorically when a major government report was not able to do so.

The plaintiff’s difficulties do not end with their lack of credibility.

The ECHR Rules further provide that any application made under Article 34 of the Convention is required to be made (Article 35(1)) within six months of the event giving rise to the application.

As the relevant event occurred on 17 July 2014, the six months expired on 17 January 2015. No explanation has been forthcoming nor any inquiry made by the incurious mainstream media as to how this potentially fatal flaw in the proceedings could be overcome.

That is not the end of the plaintiff’s woes. Rule 10(b) governs Article 34 applications to the Court. That rule requires the plaintiff to demonstrate that “the applicant has complied with the exhaustion of available domestic remedies.”

One of the plaintiffs named in the purported ECHR proceedings is Mr Tim Lauschet, a relative of one of the victims. Mr Lauschet is also the plaintiff in proceeding 2015/210056 filed in the New South Wales Supreme Court. Malaysian Airlines System Berhad is the respondent in those proceedings.

The original pleadings sought various declarations that would facilitate a claim for damages under the relevant provisions of the Civil Aviation (Carriers Liability) Act 1959. That limits liability to a maximum of special drawing rights equivalent to approximately A$215,000. There is a two year time limit for the making of such claims, so that right expires on 17 July 2016, only a few weeks away.

The purported proceedings in the ECHR makes no attempt to reconcile their $10 million claim with the liability of international air carriers which is considerably less by an order of magnitude. Neither did the media bother to ask.

The Judge politely pointed out a number of deficiencies in Mr Lauschet’s pleadings (2015) NSWSC 1365) and adjourned the matter with various timetable orders to enable the plaintiff to remedy the many deficiencies in the pleadings.

The matter has been back before the Court a further four times since that hearing, with the only apparent progress being that the plaintiff has now filed a statement of claim. It is now scheduled for a further Directions Hearing on 30 May 2016.

The conclusion for present purposes must be that Mr Lauschet has not achieved “the exhaustion of available domestic remedies.” Whether any of the other Australian plaintiffs in the purported ECHR proceeding have even started, let alone exhausted, their domestic legal remedies is unknown. But in Mr Lauschet’s case (and possibly all of the others) he therefore faces another fatal flaw.

There is one other element in this case that the mainstream media is either unaware of or has chosen to ignore. In 2012 the then Gillard government made amendments to the Social Security Act 1991 to enable payments of up to $75,000 to victims of terrorism.

Eligibility for those payments (the acronym for which is AVTOP) were backdated to 11 September 2001. A necessary pre-condition for the payment is a declaration by the Prime Minister of the day that the event concerned was a “terrorist act.”

To date there have been nine such declarations, the latest being the 13 November 2015 attacks in Paris, France. The shooting down of MH17 should qualify under most definitions as a “terrorist act.”

The relevant Prime Ministers since 17 July 2014, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull, have not made such a declaration, which would then entitle victim’s families to claim compensation under the Act.

Requests to the Prime Minister’s office for information as to whether such a declaration was going to be made, and if not, why not, were ignored. A Freedom of Information Act request has therefore been made and is currently pending.

There may be a number of reasons why such a declaration has not been made. The overwhelming weight of evidence is that only the military units of the Ukrainian armed forces had the means, motive and opportunity to shoot down MH17.

As a recently joined member of Ukrainian President Poroshenko’s “advisory council” former Prime Minister Tony Abbott would be in a difficult position if the shoot down was declared to be a terrorist act and the JIT investigation put the blame where it rightly belongs, on the Ukrainian government. It is not surprising that the announcement at the recent ASEAN-Russia meeting that Malaysia and Russia were cooperating in an investigation of the MH17 tragedy caused concern in US and Ukrainian circles.

Although the current Australian Prime Minister Turnbull has been more circumspect than his predecessor in making ill-conceived allegations against Russia and its President, he will not wish to expose himself to a finding by the JIT that does not fit the propaganda meme so assiduously pursued by the western media.

There are a number of losers in this charade, not least the victims of the atrocity and their families who deserve better than to be exploited by both politicians and dubious claims in the ECHR. The public, who might reasonably expect to be better served by their media, are also the losers.


James O’Neill is an Australian-based Barrister at Law.

May 31, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

Saudi gave grant money to Malaysia PM: FM Jubeir

Press TV – April 15, 2016

The Saudi foreign minister admits that the kingdom gave nearly USD 700 million to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has faced corruption charges since the huge grant came to light last year.

Adel al-Jubeir said Friday that the $681 million (£479 million) Riyadh offered to the premier was a “genuine donation with nothing expected in return.”

Last July, the Wall Street Journal revealed for the first time that some $700 million had been transferred to Najib’s private accounts before the 2013 general election. The report suggested that the money came from a state development fund.

At the time, Najib was already engulfed in a scandal surrounding state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and deposits into his private accounts worth around $680 million.

However, Malaysia’s attorney general cleared Najib of any criminal wrongdoing earlier this year, saying the $681 million transferred into his account back in 2013 was from the Saudi royal family and was personal donations.

According to the attorney general, Najib had returned USD 620 million of the money to the Saudi royal family in August 2013, about five months after the transfer.

The Malaysian opposition has challenged the attorney general’s ruling, arguing that the transfer of personal donations did not rule out corrupt motives or transactions.

On Friday, Saudi foreign minister said, “We are also fully aware that the attorney general of Malaysia has thoroughly investigated the matter and found no wrongdoing.”

The remarks by Jubeir came after leaders from across Malaysia’s political spectrum called for the ouster of Najib after he returned from a four-day visit to Saudi Arabia back in March.

The Malaysian premier came into office in 2009 promising a government free of corruption and a more relaxed rule.

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Corruption | , , | 1 Comment

Malaysian PM Won’t Face Charges over $681 Million Saudi ‘Gift’

teleSUR – January 26, 2016

Malaysia’s attorney-general has closed a lengthy corruption investigation involving the country’s prime minister.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak won’t be facing any legal consequences for a US$681 million donation from the Saudi royal family after the country’s attorney-general decided to drop the case on Tuesday.

“There was no reason given as to why the donation was made to PM Najib – that is between him and the Saudi family,” said Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi.

Najib returned all but US$61 million shortly after the money transfer in early 2013, during an election campaign, because it was not used, he said. The prime minister calls the donation, made to his personal account, a “gift” that was for the party and not meant for his own personal gain.

Opposition parliamentarian Tony Pua told The Guardian that the “basis to absolve the prime minister of any wrongdoing is utterly without merit because the ‘personal affair’ does not preclude corrupt motives or transactions.”

The scandal has dominated the Malaysian political scene for the past seven weeks, with his own party launching a public campaign demanding his resignation. Malaysia’s next elections are set to take place in 2018.

Apandi, who replaced the previous attorney general – dismissed by Najib for “health reasons” – will tell the country’s anti-graft commission to close the investigation into the prime minister.

One of the related probes of the commission includes US$932 million in misappropriated funds from SRC International, a subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad, which Najib chairs. About US$9.79 million of the funds ended up in Najib’s own account, reported the Wall Street Journal. Though Malaysia is Asia’s third-largest economy, it has suffered from the global drop in oil prices. Food, transportation and electricity prices have all risen as the government has slashed public subsidies.

January 26, 2016 Posted by | Corruption | , , | Leave a comment