KUALA LUMPUR: Fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, had prepared five ‘damage control’ letters after the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal brewed over.
Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, 43, who was Special Officer to Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak at the time, said the five letters prepared by Jho Low were to show proof that 1MDB and PetroSaudi had not acted out of line in their joint venture.
He said Jho Low handed the letters to Datuk Azlin Alias, who was then Najib’s principal private secretary and himself, sometime at the end of 2014 and early 2015.
“Jho Low had prepared damage control measures regarding the 1MDB issue that was being played up by the media including New York Times, WSJ and Sarawak Report.
“From what I can remember, a special task force was formed at the time, comprising the Attorney-General, Insp-General of Police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief and Bank Negara governor, to investigate the 1MDB issue,“ he said at Najib’s 1MDB trial.
Amhari Efendi said he still had a number of confidential documents on Jho Low’s action plan and talking points, including those involving two companies, PetroSaudi and Aabar, that Jho Low had involved in joint ventures with 1MDB.
“Even though Jho Low had asked me to destroy them for fear of leakage, they are still with me,” he said.
The eighth prosecution witness said the documents were in his possession likely because Azlin had asked him to keep them after the three of them met up at the Prince Hotel where they would usually meet to discuss such matters.
Incidentally, Azlin died in a helicopter crash on April 4, 2015.
Amhari Efendi said Jho Low through the letters wanted to show that PetroSaudi was a proper company that had close ties and the support of Saudi Arabia and its royalty.
He said Jho Low had shown the letters to him and Azlin right after news reports of misappropriation of 1MDB funds by PetroSaudi, of which he was suspected to be the owner.
Najib, 66, is facing four charges of using his position to obtain for himself RM2.3 billion of 1MDB funds, and 21 counts of money laundering related to the amount.
The Pekan member of parliament 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 offences, between March 22, 2013 and Aug 30, 2013 at the same place.
The hearing before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues. - Bernama