1MDB trial: Najib’s ex-aide insists Jho Low provided script to deny role in scandal

Former special officer to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Complex, September 10, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Former special officer to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Complex, September 10, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — A former special officer to Datuk Seri Najib Razak reaffirmed in the High Court today that Low Taek Jho provided scripted responses with which to deny his involvement in 1MDB.

Testifying against Najib in the former prime minister’s main 1MDB corruption trial, Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazarruddin said the frequently answered questions (FAQ) and a statement saying “Jho Low has no involvement in 1MDB” was given to him and the late Datuk Azlin Alias.

Azlin had been Najib’s principal private secretary before he died.

Earlier, lead defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah asked Amhari whether he or Azlin had discussed with Najib about any documentation they received from Low or Jho Low.

Shafee: Can u remember precisely what these documents are?

Amhari: I can remember one instance. About this FAQ that Jho Low provided, that should be taken up in relation to 1MDB

Shafee: What specifically about 1MDB?

Amhari: To say that Jho Low has no involvement in 1MDB

Shafee: This was prepared by Jho Low?

Amhari: This was prepared by Jho Low himself. The FAQ, as well as an underlying statement for relevant key individuals to say that; it was also suggested Najib say this as well.

Amahri also stated that he might have shredded the FAQ document, as ordered by Low.

Last week, Amhari also testified that Low had prepared scripted responses via email on topics such as 1MDB’s ability to repay its loans, why these were dollar-denominated, why the Malaysian firm was keeping funds in the Cayman Islands, and how its activities were meant to benefit the country.

Amhari said further emails also coached him and Azlin on Low’s preferred narrative for 1MDB and apprised them on related developments.

Among the talking points in the emails were explanations for the US$6 billion loan that 1MDB had sought together with Aabar Investment PJS, the Abu Dhabi sovereign fund, as well as strategies to stuff the 1MDB board with high-ranking government officials.

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