KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak told the High Court here today that fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, was the person who arranged meetings between him and King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia during several of his visits to Riyadh and Jeddah.
The former prime minister said prior to his official visit to Saudi Arabia in January 2010, Low had told him that King Abdullah was impressed with Malaysia’s ability to practice moderation in accordance to the teachings of Islam and equality between Muslims and non-Muslims.
“According to Jho Low, King Abdullah wanted to confer me Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honour, King Abdulaziz Order of Merit (1st Class) during my visit in January 2010,” he added.
Najib, 66, was testifying in his defence on seven charges of misappropriating RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds.
He said in mid-2010, Low told him that King Abdullah had agreed to provide support to him in the form of a personal donation.
According to Najib, he was not informed about the amount or date the donation would be received.
“From 2011 to 2014, I received a huge sum of money which I believed was the donation from King Abdullah as a sign of his support,“ he said, adding that Low had also informed him that the total amount of the donation would be between US$100 million and US$200 million.
The Pekan MP said he believed that Low was the person who handled the donation on behalf of the Saudi Arabia royal family.
Asked by his lawyer Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed whether he was surprised by such a huge amount received, Najib said: “It may seem a lot but I know that the Saudi royal family is known for their generosity.”
Najib said several letters regarding the donation were also received by AmBank as the receiving bank and him which were in line with the donation.
On Nov 11, Najib was ordered to enter his defence on three counts of criminal breach of trust, three charges of money laundering and one count of abuse of position in relation to the SRC funds after finding that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against the accused.
The hearing was held before Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.
In the meantime, Najib told the court that he had no knowledge about 14 transactions totaling RM123 million from SRC International bank accounts which were transferred to Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd in 2014 and 2015.
Najib, who was also the Advisor Emeritus of SRC, then said he was also unaware of the existence of SRC’s subsidiary known as Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd but he found out about the company when the RM42 million issue was reported by the media. - Bernama