A MALAYSIAN Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation officer has told the High Court that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak never lodged complaints with the authorities regarding the misappropriation of 1MDB funds.
According to a Bernama report, Nur Aida Ariffin, 37, said her investigation found that the 1MDB management also did not lodge any complaints about the matter with MACC or the police, nor was any action taken against fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low.
“Najib was accountable for all his actions as prime minister, finance minister, and chairman of the 1MDB advisory board,” the news agency reported her as saying in Najib’s 1MDB corruption case.
“He also never instructed the 1MDB management to distance themselves from Low, even though the man was not legally appointed to any position in the Malaysian government or 1MDB.”
Aida also noted that Low had played an “active role” in 1MDB’s operations at that time.
She said this when reading the conclusion of her witness statement during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib.
Aida further testified that the relationship between the former finance minister and Low did not only concern official 1MDB matters as Low also went on holidays with Najib’s family.
“This includes vacations on the yachts RM Elegance and Topaz in the southern waters of France in 2009 and 2013, and vacations on the yacht Golden Odyssey in the waters of Greece in 2010.
“All these vacations, managed by Low and his associate, Eric Tan Kim Loong, were also joined by the royal family of Saudi Arabia and PetroSaudi International Ltd director Tarek Obaid,” she said.
Aida went on to testify that Najib had never declared to the Cabinet the entry of RM3.6 bil into his two personal bank accounts when he was the prime minister.
“The results of my investigation show that the money Najib received in his two AmPrivate Banking accounts came from 1MDB funds that were for investments.
“During the period from 2011 to 2014, there were 526 expenditure transactions through the issuance of cheques signed and controlled by Najib himself, in addition to payments using his AmBank Mastercard and Visa Platinum credit cards,” she said.
Aida said Najib had access and control over the accounts, which were active during the period, but he never made any confirmation, inquiries or complaints either verbally or in writing with the bank regarding the source of the money entering the accounts.
“In July 2015, Najib also asked then Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz to issue a statement that there was no wrongdoing involving the money that went into his accounts, but Zeti refused to comply with his request,” she stated.
She said then finance minister II Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah was also instructed by Najib not to get involved and interfere in any matters and decisions regarding 1MDB’s investments.
Najib, 70, is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes amounting to RM2.3 bil of 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.
The trial before Justice Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes on Jan 29. – Jan 26, 2024
Main pic credit: Reuters