1MDB ex-CEO says can’t recognise Jho Low’s signature despite working together for years

Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex October 8, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex October 8, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 — Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi today confirmed that he could not recognise fugitive financier Low Taek Jho’s signature despite having worked with the man for several years, the High Court heard today.

Testifying against Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the latter’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) corruption trial, Shahrol, who is the firm’s former chief executive, explained that he never saw Low or Jho Low’s signature or any document especially since he does not have an official role with 1MDB.

Shahrol was answering questions posed by lead defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah who had asked him to identify a signature on a document related to Good Star Limited, a company reportedly under Low’s control.

Shafee: Good Star Limited you see the name of the person is Low Taek Jho, is this the beneficiary owners’ identity?

Shahrol: Correct.

Shafee: Somebody made this document or signed it on 9 June 2009, whose signature is that?

Shahrol: I don’t know.

Shafee: It’s not Jho Low’s, right?

Shahrol: I don’t know.

Shafee: In all these years you met Jho Low, you cannot identify his signature?

Shahrol: I haven’t seen any documents signed by him.

Shafee: How many years you knew Jho Low, isn’t that a miracle you haven’t seen a document with his signature? Isn’t that a signal of something disastrous?

Shahrol: No.

Shafee: It didn’t alarm you?

Shahrol: That I didn’t recognise his signature? No, it doesn’t alarm me.

Shafee: Why is that?

Shahrol: Because he doesn’t have any official dealings with 1MDB.

Throughout the trial, both the defence and the prosecution had worked to prove that Low had schemed behind the scenes within 1MDB with plans to defraud the sovereign wealth fund.

Earlier today, Shahrol agreed with the defence on the possibility that Low had recommended him to the post of Chief Executive Officer within 1MDB’s predecessor Terengganu Investment Authority in 2009 due to his lack of financial experience.

Shahrol also agreed with Shafee’s suggestion that Low had strategically placed his supposed accomplices within 1MDB, such as Casey Tang, Jasmine Loo and Terence Geh, among others, helping to defraud the firm, which the latter agreed.

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