KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Fugitive financier Low Taek Jho had “orchestrated” the establishment of a US$6 billion joint venture fund between 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and Aabar Investment PJS, Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi told the High Court today.
Testifying against Datuk Seri Najib Razak during the latter’s 1MDB corruption trial, the firm’s former chief executive Shahrol said Low, or Jho Low, had done so with the approval of the former prime minister.
“I believed that all actions related to the US$6 billion funds were orchestrated by Jho Low.
“Jho Low had sent his usual confidential emails as before and had informed actions that needed to be taken to ensure this process will go smoothly including his instructions to send this letter to Najib,” he said.
He was referring to Low’s instructions for 1MDB to send an official letter of the joint venture to Najib, who was the finance minister at the time.
“This was to ensure that the idea was mooted from the 1MDB CEO. However, Jho Low had done so through action plans to ensure that the supposed process was visible,” said Shahrol.
Shahrol also claimed that Najib had known of the joint venture earlier as his actions were in tandem with that of Low.
The joint venture would see 1MDB and Aabar inject US$3 billion respectively into the fund, with equal stakes.
At the time, 1MDB was seeking to raise the funds through bonds and was seeking a letter of support from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to do so.
Shahrol explained that he had expressed concern to Low whether MoF would provide the necessary support for 1MDB to issue its bonds however the latter reassured him by saying “that boss will bulldoze, don’t worry”, referring to Najib.
Shahrol then confirmed that 1MDB had received the much need letter of support from the MoF of March 14, 2013, some two months after he had sent an official letter to the Najib on the joint venture on January 13, 2013.
1MDB and Aabar had signed the joint venture agreement on April 16, 2013, that was witnessed by Najib and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, General Sheikh Mohammed Zayed Al Nahyan.