KUALA LUMPUR: A former special officer to Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak today denied that he had conspired with fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, in connection with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) dealings.
Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, who was the eighth prosecution witness said this when cross-examined by Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah on the 10th day of the former premier’s 1MDB trial.
Amhari Efendi, 43, said he was sent to Abu Dhabi by Najib to resolve the issue of debt between 1MDB and International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC).
The witness also disagreed with Muhammad Shafee’s suggestion that he persuaded Najib to send him to Abu Dhabi.
Muhammad Shafee: From the beginning of 2007 onward, you and Jho Low had conspired in 1MDB dealings?
Amhari Efendi: Disagree.
Muhammad Shafee: You said you did not know much about IPIC, Aabar Investment at Abu Dhabi, but why did Najib send you abroad?
Amhari Efendi: Because, he (Najib) trusted me.
Muhammad Shafee: I am putting to you that you went to Abu Dhabi (to settle IPIC’s issues) because you did not want the truth about IPIC to come out?
Amhari Efendi: I disagree.
The witness also denied that he was the owner of Tycoon Gain Limited and Aerosphere Limited.
Meanwhile, Amhari Efendi said he had gone to China in June 2016 on Najib’s instructions to arrange a “bail out” of 1MDB and SRC International Sdn Bhd.
The witness said that the talking points from Jho Low had mentioned a message from the then Prime Minister (Najib) for the promotion of closer economic ties, with an offer for China state-owned enterprises to participate in key multi-billion infrastructure and development projects “while simultaneously completely resolving 1MDB and SRC debts”.
Muhammad Shafee: Why couldn’t we interpret that 1MDB issues can be resolved with Malaysia’s economic growth through the infrastructure projects with China?
Amhari Efendi: I am more inclined to disagree than agree because you do not need to put in talking points if it’s all about economic growth.
Najib, 66, is facing four charges of abusing his position to corruptly obtain RM2.3 billion of 1MDB funds and 21 counts of money laundering related to the money.
The 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, between March 22, 2013, and Aug 30, 2013, at the same place.
The trial before Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues. — Bernama