Highlights of Najib's 1MDB trial last week

Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex September 19, 2019. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex September 19, 2019. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 ― Again and again the former special officer to Datuk Seri Najib Razak reiterated at the High Court here that he took orders from the former prime minister and not from fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low.

Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, 43, also maintained his stand that Jho Low was seen most of the time during Najib's official visits to New York and London.

Following are among the evidence produced by Amhari Efendi, who is one of the key prosecution witnesses at Najib’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) trial, before Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah from September 17 to 19.

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

The Pekan MP allegedly committed the four offences at AmIslamic Bank Berhad, Jalan Raja Chulan branch, Bukit Ceylon here between February 24, 2011, and December 19, 2014, and the 21 charges, between March 22, 2013, and August 30, 2013, at the same place.

Day 8 (September 17):

― Amhari Efendi told the High Court that Jho Low had shown interest in the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA)  since the idea of its establishment was proposed in 2008.

― He said Jho Low also attended TIA steering and coordination committee meeting on March 5, 2009, by invitation to discuss raising bonds for TIA.

― TIA was renamed as 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) in September 2009.

― Amhari Efendi told the High Court that Jho Low proposed big names as members of the board of trustees of a foundation that was to be set up by the TIA.

― He confirmed that the foundation, meant to be under TIA had in its list of board of trustees, Irish rock band lead vocalist Bono, Queen Rania of Jordan and Walt Disney ex-chief executive officer (CEO) Michael Eisner.

― Among other names listed in the document read aloud in court by Najib's lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah were Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor; former Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said, Mubadala Development CEO Khaldoon Al Mubarak, ExxonMobil ex-chairman Lee Raymond, and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE chairman and chief executive Bernard Arnault.

Day 9 (September 18):

― The witness also denied that he was protecting Jho Low,  for not raising the issue that the fugitive businessman has been misrepresenting himself as an advisor of then Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin.

― Earlier, Muhammad Shafee read out the minutes of TIA meeting, which took place at the Parliament on June 30, 2009.

― In the minutes, Muhammad Shafee said that the representative of Sultan Mizan had denied Jho Low was an adviser to the royalty.

― Amhari Efendi testified that  Jho Low, was often with Najib during the latter’s official visits to New York and London.

― He also said he did not prepare the report of his China trip in June 2016 for the former prime minister, and instead, it was Jho Low who did it.

Day 10 (September 19):

― Amhari Efendi reiterated at the High Court that he took orders from the former prime minister and not from Jho Low as he worked for Najib.

― He also said meetings between Najib and Jho Low were held outside the Prime Minister’s Office and after Jho Low fled the country in 2015, the two communicated through the electronic medium.

― During Najib's official visits to New York and London, Jho Low would meet the former prime minister in a hotel room, he said.

― Amhari Efendi told the High Court that as the nation's then number one man, Najib had the power to create instability in his life.

― He said although his former boss had never personally threatened him, he felt as if he was “stuck in the middle” because Najib, as the prime minister at that time, had the influence and full support to create chaos in his life.

The trial before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues Monday. ― Bernama

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