Highlights of Najib’s 1MDB trial on Oct 21 & 24

26 Oct 2019 / 15:36 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The trial of Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak (pix) over 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds saw that the defence team zoomed in into the joint venture (JV) deal between state-owned sovereign wealth fund (1MDB) and PetroSaudi International Limited (PSI).

Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah disclosed how 1MDB was a fool to have paid US$1 billion to obtain a 40% stake in the 1MDB and Petro Saudi Holdings (Cayman) Ltd joint venture while PSI only injected US$108 million (RM452.09 million) to get 60% share.

At the same time, 1MDB former chief executive officer Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, 49, during cross-examination by the defence team, said that the signing ceremony of the JV project between 1MDB and PSI never happened.

The 9th prosecution witness and one of its key witnesses also stated that the “1MDB was Datuk Seri Najib, Datuk Seri Najib was 1MDB” as there was no difference in his mind between the entity and the former prime minister.

Najib, 66, is facing four charges of having used his position to obtain gratification totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB and 21 counts of money laundering involving the same funds.

Najib, who is also Pekan MP allegedly committed the four offences at AmIslamic Bank Berhad, Jalan Raja Chulan branch, Bukit Ceylon, here between Feb 24, 2011, and Dec 19, 2014, and the 21 charges, at the same place between March 22, 2013, and Aug 30, 2013.

These are highlights of the evidence adduced by the witness before High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah:

DAY 25 (Oct 21):

1MDB board of directors (BOD) did not know about the US$700 million (RM2.9 billion) loan agreement signed by the 1MDB-PetroSaudi International Ltd joint venture company (JVC) in 2009, prior to the actual joint venture agreement between both sovereign wealth funds.

Shahrol Azral was not involved in the discussions of the particular loan agreement deal and has never actually seen the loan agreement during his tenure at 1MDB from 2009 until 2016.

Fugitive businessman Low Teak Jho or Jho Low was entrusted with the responsibility of preparing 1MDB’s action plan and also the talking points of Najib.

Shahrol Azral, during his tenure as the CEO of 1MDB, was discouraged to go beyond the talking points and action plans given to him.

The signing ceremony of the JV project between 1MDB and PSI never happened as the JV agreement was signed by Shahrol Azral and PSI CEO, Tarek Obaid separately. The signing ceremony was scheduled on Sept 28, 2009 and there was a plan for Najib and the late King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Abdul Aziz al Saud, to witness the signing ceremony in Putrajaya, but both of them did not attend the ceremony.

DAY 26 (Oct 24):

“1MDB was Datuk Seri Najib, Datuk Seri Najib was 1MDB” as there was no difference in the witness’s mind between the entity and the former prime minister.

1MDB board of directors (BOD) was not informed about the US$700 million debt by its joint-venture company 1MDB-PetroSaudi Ltd upon the signing of the joint venture with PSI.

Shahrol Azral was pressured by Jho Low, and Casey Tang (1MDB executive director) to get the joint venture signed on Sept 28, 2009.

The debt was due to assets injected by PSI into the joint venture company were of higher value that the amount it had agreed to contribute earlier.

Shahrol Azral agreed that 1MDB was a fool to have paid US$1 billion (RM4.19 billion) to obtain a 40% stake in the 1MDB and PSI subsidiary Petro Saudi Holdings (Cayman) Ltd joint venture while PSI only injected US$108 million (RM452.09 million) to get 60% share. — Bernama

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