Rosli Dahlan, the lead counsel for 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), lodged a police report last Monday against three people who accused him of pocketing huge commissions from the settlements in the fraud case involving the sovereign investment fund.
The allegations, by former Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Lokman Noor Adam, Kuang assemblyman Sallehuddin Amiruddin and Mohd Hanizam Yunus, were made against him and his law firm Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership.
Lokman had alleged that Rosli and his firm gained large amounts of commissions from the settlement against Goldman Sachs and AmBank for facilitating the embezzlement of public funds through 1MDB, by saying that Rosli had led the negotiations on behalf of the Malaysian government.
Lokman claimed Rosli’s firm was paid RM1.7 billion or 10 percent from the settlement amount reached with Goldman Sachs, as well as RM283 million from the settlement with Ambank.
Lokman had also accused Rosli of pressuring Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun to resign.
The Umno politician made the allegations through several Facebook posts.
Sallehuddin and his aide Mohd Hanizam lodged a police report against Rosli over various claims the latter said was false.
“I say there is a sinister conspiracy between Lokman, Sallehudin and (Sallehuddin’s aide) Mohd Hanizam Yunus in their actions to make a video, press statement and a police report that was publicised to sully the good name of the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Bersatu party, the prime minister (Muhyiddin Yassin), to destroy my dignity as a Muslim and my reputation as a professional,” read Rosli’s report.
Among others, the lawyer was said to have been hired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to represent the Malaysian government and that the commissions were then paid to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).
The duo claimed Rosli’s firm had channelled RM500 million received from the settlements into the party’s account.
Rosli denied all the allegations. He clarified that his role in the settlements was as counsel for 1MDB and not the Malaysian government, and that the fees he made from the two deals were not as large as stated by the accusers.
The lawyer did not disclose the sum.
“It is malicious defamation that I was paid RM1.7 billion as a result from the RM17 billion settlement reached with Goldman Sachs. The legal fees that I received were far lower than the said sum,” he said in the police report.
“In fact, I had reduced the cost that I would have otherwise charged my commercial clients. And in the case of Goldman Sachs I had, as a matter of fact, fronted the high logistics costs with my own money,” he added.
Rosli said his firm had received payment for their services in the negotiations with Goldman only six months after.
On the deal with AmBank, Rosli said the fees charged for his services are rated on an hourly basis and not a fixed sum as claimed by his accusers.
The firm has yet to receive the payment, he said in the report.
Rosli has represented 1MDB, Bersatu and Muhyiddin in several cases.
In June 2020, several months after Perikatan Nasional took over Putrajaya, Rosli was appointed as a director in government-linked investment company Permodalan Nasional Bhd.
On April last year, he donated RM150,000 to Muhyiddin’s Covid-19 relief fund.
Rosli also represented Bersatu a few weeks before the 14th general election where he succeeded to get leave as well as a stay on the de-registration of the party.
Lokman was ejected from Umno last year after he accused party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi of cajoling leaders to work with Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He is widely regarded as a close ally of Pekan MP Najib Abdul Razak.
Sallehuddin, meanwhile, defected from Bersatu to Mahathir’s Parti Pejuang Tanah Air.