KUALA LUMPUR – July 5, 2018: While his passport may have been revoked, lawyers say that fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho alias Jho Low can still stay abroad indefinitely provided his host country doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Malaysia.
Even if Malaysia fails to extradite Low, lawyer Zaki Azmi pointed out that Low cannot move from country to country because he doesn’t have a passport.
His extradition depends on Malaysia’s agreement with a particular country, since countries do not have an extradition agreement with every other country. There is such agreement, for example, with Taiwan or Macau.
Low’s passport was revoked on June 15 following a request by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to Immigration because MACC is currently investigating the alleged embezzlement of funds relating to 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
Echoing a similar view was lawyer Fatihah Jamhari, who explained that the revocation could aid the authorities determine Low’s whereabouts.
“Once a passport is declared invalid, any immigration counter presented with the document must notify our foreign ministry.
“This may push Low to get the issue sorted out at the Malaysian embassy or return home to challenge the government’s decision.
“It’s a bit unfair but I think it’s permissible considering Low’s wealth. Doing so may be the only way to get information on his whereabouts.”
Fatihah further said that should Low choose to stay put in his host country, he will essentially be a persona non grata there.
Last month, a news report mentioned that Low was prepared to meet MACC investigators in Dubai.