Trial witness unsure if Najib instructed US$700 thousand payment to Good Star | Daily Express Malaysia

Trial witness unsure if Najib instructed US$700 thousand payment to Good Star | Daily Express Malaysia
Trial witness unsure if Najib instructed US$700 thousand payment to Good Star | Daily Express Malaysia

Trial witness unsure if Najib instructed US$700mil payment to Good Star

Published on: Wednesday, April 24, 2024

By: FMT, V Anbalagan

MACC officer Nur Aida Arifin told the High Court today that Jho Low’s actions were based on Najib Razak’s directives.

Kuala Lumpur: An investigating officer admitted in court today that she did not ask former Prime Minister Najib Razak whether he had instructed a top 1MDB executive to remit US$700 million to a company owned by fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, popularly known as Jho Low. Cross-examined by lawyer Wan Azwan Aiman ​​Wan Fakhruddin, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer Nur Aida Arifin told Najib’s 1MDB corruption trial that she did not consider the question important.

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Wan Azwan: Did you ask Najib if the instruction to transfer the 70% of the US$1 billion investment sum came from him? Aida: I only asked (then 1MDB CEO and director) Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi. Wan Azwan: Did you ask Najib? Aida: No.

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Wan Azwan: Don’t you think you should have asked Najib? Aida: No, I didn’t think it was important.

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In its opening statement, the prosecution claimed that 1MDB entered into a joint venture agreement with Petro Saudi International Ltd pursuant to which it was required to contribute US$1 billion, equivalent to 40% of the equity in the project. However, only US$300 million was paid to the joint venture, with the remaining US$700 million diverted to Good Star. The prosecution also claimed that Shahrol inked the joint venture agreement with PetroSaudi Holding, a Cayman Islands entity. Under cross-examination, Aida, the 49th prosecution witness, agreed that Najib did not order the 1MDB board or Shahrol to sign the agreement with the Cayman entity. The witness, however, dismissed a suggestion by Najib’s lawyer that Shahrol was a co-conspirator and the alter ego of Jho Low. “I believe that all of Low’s actions were based on Najib’s directives,” she said. Former 1MDB chairman Bakke Salleh previously told the court that Najib had not responded to concerns he raised via SMS about the state of affairs at 1MDB. Bakke said he was unhappy with the US$700 million transfer as the matter was not discussed with him or the other directors. The prosecution claims Najib was in cahoots with Low to steal millions of ringgit from 1MDB, and describes Low as Najib’s mirror image. Najib is facing 25 charges of abuse of power and money laundering over alleged 1MDB funds of RM2.28 billion deposited into his AmBank accounts between February 2011 and December 2014. The trial before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues.

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