KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — Former 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) in-house lawyer Jasmine Loo today denied that she is involved in any conspiracy with now-fugitive Low Taek Jho to deceive the company of its funds.

Loo said this while testifying as the 50th prosecution witness in former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trial over the misappropriation of RM2.27 billion of 1MDB funds.

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Najib’s lead defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah questioned her on why she had not drafted 1MDB approval documents to seek Najib’s approval for key financial decisions according to his three separate roles as either prime minister, representative of 1MDB’s shareholder Minister of Finance Incorporated (MoF Inc) as the finance minister, and as 1MDB’s board of advisers’ chairman.

Loo said 1MDB was already having this practice — of having Najib sign off documents without making it clear if it was in his role as prime minister — by the time she joined, and disagreed that she was brought into the company as general counsel to put things in order.

She said 1MDB had been relying on professional company secretarial advice and that 1MDB would have done it that way if they had another opinion.

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“When I asked them that, they said that was the practice, because the prime minister was the shareholder’s representative, as well as the chairman of the board of advisers, was one and the same individual. But because in substance, his approval would be approval for all three roles,” she said, when asked by Shafee if she had just followed the practice without legal advice being given during the time she was working in 1MDB as general counsel.

Shafee then said that it was Loo’s job to decide whether to specify if any approval being signed off by Najib was as 1MDB’s shareholder’s representative or as prime minister or as finance minister as she was the one drafting documents for 1MDB, with Loo then replying she was following the practice within 1MDB.

When Shafee asked if she did not know 1MDB’s practice was wrong, Loo said: “I do not think the practice was wrong, because in substance, it was the same individual.”

Shafee then accused Loo of having intentionally forgot the rules in 1MDB’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A) or company constitution, despite having worked in a law firm in the past and being well-versed with company law.

Shafee: I put it to you, despite you being so familiar with company law and in a leading law firm, you purposely ignored all these rules that were captured in the M&A, because you were part of conspiracy in 1MDB to hoodwink 1MDB funds together with Jho Low, that’s why you forget all these things.

Loo: I do not agree.

Jasmine Loo has denied that she is involved in any conspiracy with now-fugitive Low Taek Jho to deceive the company of its funds. — Picture via Facebook
Jasmine Loo has denied that she is involved in any conspiracy with now-fugitive Low Taek Jho to deceive the company of its funds. — Picture via Facebook

Shafee then cited the testimony of former Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner in his fellow former colleague Roger Ng’s trial in the US, and read out excerpts of Leissner’s court testimony which had made accusations against Loo.

Among other things, Shafee cited Leissner as having claimed that Loo was a “key component of the 1MDB Jho Low connection” and having worked on 1MDB transaction terms and structuring terms and of allegedly being the key person to coordinate with Low for 1MDB.

Shafee also cited Leissner as claiming that Loo did receive money for “transactions through the criminal scheme”, and that the ex-banker had said he knew this as Loo told him personally and it was confirmed by Low.

Shafee also cited Leissner as having told a court in the US that Loo was unhappy and felt the money she was about to receive as part of the 1MDB scheme was inadequate.

After hearing these portions of the court transcript of Leissner’s testimony, Loo said: “I don’t agree with any of the statements he has made. They are not true.”

Shafee then asked if Loo had lodged a report or taken any action over Leissner’s testimony in the US trial, but Loo said: “I’ve not seen this, this is the first time I’m being shown this.”

Shafee suggested that Loo knew about Leissner’s testimony but that she had to allegedly “keep quiet because what he was saying was true”, but Loo disagreed with this suggestion.

Today is the first day of the 50-year-old Loo being cross-examined.

Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and his daughter Nooryana Najwa were seen in the courtroom today.

Najib’s 1MDB trial before trial judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes this afternoon.