Lawyers weigh in on how Interpol Red Notice can be used to arrest Jho Low

13-Jun-2018 Intellasia | | 6:02 AM Print This Post

There are ways to bring Low Taek Jho or Jho Low back to the country over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal investigations.

Senior criminal lawyer SN Nair said Malaysian authorities and or the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) could contact Interpol and apply for the Red Notice on Jho Low after obtaining a warrant of arrest.

“This Red Notice is applicable in any Interpol member countries. The police in all Interpol member countries will then be obliged to arrest Jho Low. Then Malaysia can apply to the respective country to extradite him to Malaysia.

“Note that Malaysia may not have an extradition treaty with all Interpol member countries but that will not be a bar so long as Malaysia has bilateral diplomatic ties with the country,” said the lawyer when asked if Malaysia had another option to arrest Jho Low as the country did not have an extradition treaty with the country where he is staying now.

He explained that in any event the process of extradition was extremely complex and was a tedious process as Jho Low was a wealthy man and he will be able to resort to the courts in that country to resist or delay the entire extradition process (with the exception of Brunei and Singapore).

Nair said Malaysia could also simultaneously proceed to cancel Jho Low’s passport, thereby he will become stateless.

“As such he will then have to be at the mercy of whichever country he is living in now and will be in breach of their immigration laws. This sort of pressure may finally force him to return to Malaysia voluntarily, as have been seen by a few Singaporean fugitives who took refuge overseas,” he said.

Another senior criminal lawyer Datuk N Sivananthan was of the view that there was an Interpol Red Notice out for Jho Low so all countries party to Interpol have an obligation to arrest him and turn him over to the country which sought his arrest.

“However this is where it becomes tricky. Firstly is he a citizen or permanent resident of the country where he is now located and whether that country has an extradition treaty with Malaysia.

“Secondly he can argue there are no charges pending against him currently and he may take the position that the investigators can interview him where he is currently located,” he said.

He said Low might also argue that the investigation against him was politically motivated by virtue of his relationship with the previous prime minister and his family and politically motivated charges were specifically excluded from extradition even if the country was willing to consider the same in the absence of a treaty.

There are ways to bring Low Taek Jho or Jho Low back to the country over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal investigations. (NSTP file pic)

“Since he has made the first approach through his lawyers, I think what should be pursued is an interview with him in the country he is residing in and if there is a decision to charge later on, the necessary steps may be taken then.

“We are still in a fact finding phase and his coming forward should be taken advantage of to shed light on the shenanigans that have taken place.

“I think when you are in the phase of deciding whether an offence has occurred, the details and facts become crucial. Media speculation, public sentiment, unsubstantiated reports have to take a back seat. There must be tangible evidence to prefer a charge, nothing less will suffice,” he said.

A Red Notice is a request by a member country to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition and it will only be issued if there was a valid national arrest warrant.

Former Kuala Lumpur Bar Criminal Practice Committee chair, Lim Chi Chau said there were ways to bring Jho Low back to the country but it would entail a long process and it depends on the law in the country where Low is staying.

“No extradition treaty does not mean impossible. Treaty only to make the process easier,” he said, adding that Malaysia could apply the Red notice to arrest Low but the process is long.


Category: Malaysia

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