Tuesday 2 September 2014
Sarawak business entrepreneur Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib today continued his testimony in the Shahriah Court of Kuala Lumpur testifying that an international politically motivated conspiracy had evolved from his divorce maintenance hearings against him and his family, in particular, his father Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, Governor of Sarawak and immediate former chief minister of the state.
“What was suppose to be a private matter in divorce maintenance claims before the courts was blown up into a global attack and slander to change the political landscape of Sarawak,” he said.
He cited attacks from Sarawak Report led by British political activist Clare Rewcastle-Brown who is related to former UK prime minister Gordon Brown. Ms Rewcastle, he said, had picked up every conceivable piece of gossip and political scandal to undermine his reputation and credibility.
He said that the attacks stemmed from his former wife and her team, one of whom is related to Malaysian opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. As a result, Harakah the opposition news organ and Sarawak Report had reported immensely, a string of distortions, misrepresentations and fabrications – much of which one can see from the evidence submitted to court by his former wife Shahnaz Abdul Majid.
“It saddens me that my divorce, which is painful enough for all, should have been hijacked by politicians and activists, and used to disseminate falsehoods under the cover of this respected court.”
As a result, the attacks even continued into the Swiss Parliament where MPs had demanded that Swiss banks reveal his accounts following Shahnaz’s revelation of 111 purported offshore bank accounts.
“These bank accounts are forgeries masquerading as hacks. They are not real,” he said.
“The forged documents were obtained by my former wife and her team at a time when the fraudsters were running away from the arms of the law. The fugitives took refuge at Turks and Caicos Islands in 2010 where they continued to dupe clients in an international scheme that involved bogus promises of offshore millions.
“The Canadian pair had fabricated astoundingly realistic-looking banking information that would lead one party to believe the other had millions of dollars in assets offshore.”
On 10 April 2013, the fraudsters Cullen Johnson and Elaine White were extradited to the US from a Turks and Caicos prison on charges of money laundering, tax evasion and several charges of fraud valued at over US$1m. They have been indicted and jailed.
Datuk Seri Mahmud made this testimony at the Kuala Lumpur Shariah High Court today before Judge Muhamad Abdul Karim Wahab in the ‘mutaah’ divorce claim by his ex wife.
He said it has been widely reported on the Internet that Sarawak Report political activist Clare Rewcastle-Brown had been in communication with Cullen Johnson. Johnson was also reported to have been in communication with his former wife and her team through a local private investigator.
Shahnaz had in her earlier testimony said that Datuk Seri Mahmud had income and assets in excess of billions of Ringgit. She had testified that her former husband had properties both locally and abroad. She also claimed that he had a string of offshore bank accounts in Canada, the US, the Caribbean, France, Luxembourg, Monaco, Hong Kong and Switzerland.
However, Shahnaz had yet to produce in court witnesses from any of the international banks to testify and confirm.
“The reason why my wife and her team have not been able to produce any witnesses from the international arena is simply because the offshore bank accounts do not exist. They are forgeries.”
In addition to the RM100 million for conciliatory gift (mutaah) claim today, Shanaz had also filed a number of other claims amounting to RM300 million for matrimonial assets division, RM200 million for child maintenance to include a terrace house in London (RM60 million), two Aston Martins (RM5.5 million), a private trust fund (RM40 million to be held by her), and including a claim for half of her former husband’s assets.
The purported wealth of her former husband had been wildly exaggerated to support the massive claims.
“The court needs to hear how Shanaz and her team commissioned and obtained forgeries from fraudsters who were subsequently indicted and jailed,” said Datuk Seri Mahmud.