BMF challenges Malaysian government over Musa 'clearing', criticizes Hong Kong’s ICAC for its silence
BRUNO MANSER FUND, BASEL /SWITZERLAND
24 October 2012 – for immediate release
In a letter to the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) refuses to provide information on the status of its investigation against Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman – Malaysian government asked to provide evidence that Hong Kong 'cleared' Musa on corruption – BMF calls on the ICAC to inform openly on the status and the results of its investigations
(BASEL/KUALA LUMPUR/ HONG KONG). The Swiss human rights and environment organization, the Bruno Manser Fund, calls on the Malaysian government to provide evidence that Hong Kong’s anti-corruption watchdog, the ICAC, „cleared“ Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman and found „no element of corruption“ with Musa’s finance deals with Swiss bank UBS in Hong Kong.
Last week, Malaysia’s de facto law minister, Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz, claimed in Parliament in Kuala Lumpur that the ICAC had cleared Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman from all corruption allegations. The ICAC itself has not commented on the issue.
Hong Kong authorities led an investigation into Musa’s Hong Kong finance transactions after Musa associate Michael Chia was arrested on 14 August 2008 with 13 million Singapore dollars (USD 10.6 million) in cash at the Hong Kong airport. According to leaked ICAC papers, Musa and associates laundered over 90 million US dollars through UBS bank accounts in Singapore, Hong Kong and Zurich. On 29 August 2012, the Swiss Attorney General opened an investigation against UBS over suspected money-laundering on behalf of Musa and associates. The investigation is currently ongoing. On 31 March 2011, Switzerland provided legal assistance to Hong Kong authorities in their own investigation in the matter.
When contacted by the Bruno Manser Fund, the ICAC refused to comment on the Musa case. In a confidential letter sent to BMF on 23 August 2012, the ICAC said it was „unable to provide any of the information you seek.“ BMF had asked ICAC commissioner Simon Peh Lun Yu to inform the public if the Musa Aman investigation was still ongoing, if the ICAC had found any evidence for criminal activities by Musa and if the ICAC was planning to charge UBS, Musa or any of his associates.
The Bruno Manser Fund is disappointed that the ICAC is not living up to international transparency standards in such a matter of highest public concern and calls on the Hong Kong authorities to openly inform on the status and the results of their investigation.