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Malaysian fugitive Jho Low hires Chris Christie, Trump law firm for legal defence

A MALAYSIAN financier accused of looting billions from investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, has hired several politically connected lawyers in the US to defend his interests in a sprawling Justice Department investigation.

Low Taek Jho - also known as Jho Low, who is wanted in Malaysia for money laundering and has been described in US court filings as the man who orchestrated the theft of more than US$4 billion from 1MDB - has retained former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and one of US President Donald Trump's go-to law firms, Kasowitz Benson Torres, among others.

Mr Christie, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 before dropping out and endorsing Mr Trump, set up his own law firm earlier this year after serving out his second term as New Jersey's governor. He is representing Low in the civil forfeiture case brought against his properties by the US Attorney's office in Los Angeles, according to his spokesman Pete Sheridan.

The Kasowitz firm is representing Low in the ongoing investigation of people believed to be involved in raising funds for 1MDB and siphoning them after the fact. "Here, as with all of our clients, our job as attorneys is to represent and vindicate our clients' interests," said Mike Geller, a spokesman for the firm.

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Low has also retained Bobby Burchfield of King & Spalding's Washington DC office. "We can confirm that Mr. Low retained King & Spalding to advise him on the ongoing investigations," the firm said in a statement.

Low's hiring of these lawyers was first reported in The Wall Street Journal which also said that US federal officials are investigating whether Jho Low used millions of dollars in laundered money to pay his legal team.

There is no indication anyone paid with the allegedly laundered funds knew the money was tainted, according to the newspaper..