Jho Low described as Najib’s “consigliere”, which is an advisor to an Italian mob boss, while ex-1MDB CEO described as “table ornament”.
9.46am: Proceedings begin as accused Najib Razak steps into the dock.
9.48am: Lead DPP Gopal Sri Ram informs the court that lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik is present and holding a watching brief on behalf of Goldman Sachs in the trial.
10.10am: The court hears from former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi that the company had once had four international figures on its international board of advisers.
They include fashion conglomerate Louis Vuitton’s chairperson and CEO Bernard Arnault, former Qatar prime minister Jaber al-Thani, CITIC Group chairperson Chang Zhenming, and Mubadala CEO Khaldoon al Mubarak.
Shahrol testifies that a letter of appointment to the board of advisers was sent to these individuals, including Arnault whom he personally met in Paris to deliver the letter.
He says Arnault had verbally accepted his appointment to the board while Zhenming had also replied with a letter of acceptance.
Under cross-examination by lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Shahrol says that all the personalities were suggested by Jho Low.
When asked on the logic behind the appointment of figures like Arnault, who is in the fashion business, Shahrol says that Arnault was among the top businesspersons in the world at that time.
“Bernard Arnault clearly one of the leading business people in the world. I think that’s enough justification. He was among top five richest, I think,” he says.
However, according to Shahrol, there was never an international board of advisers meeting called albeit efforts had been done to do so.
He says that this was due to failure to find an opportunity to get all of them together at one place.
10.20am: The court hears that Jho Low had said that Najib consented to Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) being taken over by the federal government.
Shahrol says Low had told him this during cross-examination from Shafee.
Shahrol is explaining about the letter issued by him to Najib on June 25, 2009, recommending for the federalisation of TIA.
“At that time, I was looking at a flurry of letters. That was very “kelam kabut” (confusing) time as I wanted Jho to clarify with me what is the wishes of the prime minister (Najib).
“Eventually when this letter was produced, he (Jho Low) came to me and said Najib had agreed to the federalisation transformation of TIA to 1MDB,” he says.
10.28am: Shahrol is speaking about the federalisation TIA would be under the federal government and not the Terengganu government.
He says he did not know about a written decision by the cabinet and Najib, and was only told by Low.
He says he was only given enough information to do his part.
10.30am: Shafee suggests given Shahrol’s background of “playing Mr Postman”, he now knows from the cabinet meeting minutes that Low was not telling the truth.
10.36am: Shahrol says he was instructed to write down the suggestion to federalise TIA.
He says it was to get the ball rolling on federalising.
10.42am: Shafee refers to a meeting on June 30, 2009 chaired by then-Treasury secretary-general Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah. It was also attended by then Najib’s aide Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin.
During the meeting, there was a question from a Terengganu palace official who questioned Low’s role because he had been flaunting the royalty’s name.
10.45am: “He (Jho Low) was representing Najib at the time, the Italian word was ‘consigliere’. He gets things done for the prime minister,” Shahrol says.
A consigliere is an advisor to an Italian mob boss.
10.48am: Shahrol disagrees to a suggestion by the defence that he was just a “decoration” in the company.
He disagrees when Shafee puts it to him as being a mere “soprammobile” or table ornament for following Jho Low’s instructions in running the company.
Shafee’s question comes as Shahrol testifies that he had trusted Low’s words without making any checks or confirmations.
10.50am: Sri Ram says that Shahrol is not well.
Shahrol makes a request to judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah if he can be excused from the afternoon session to seek treatment.
Sequerah then tells the witness to update the court again on his condition when the court breaks for lunch.
The court then goes for a 15-minute break.
11.12am: Court is in session but Najib is not in the dock.
Shafee tells Sequerah that Najib will be up shortly.
Sequerah tells Shafee to impress upon Najib that it is not the custom of the court to wait for an accused.
Shafee tells Sequerah that he will do that.
11.21am: For the federalisation of TIA, Shahrol had suggested that it be run like Petronas.
Shafee: Do you know why you compared it to Petronas?
Shahrol: Low suggested it.
Shafee: Of course.
11.36am: Shahrol says the TIA federalisation was rushed through as per instructions by Low.
12.10am: Judge Sequerah allows a request by Shahrol for him to be excused early today due to health issues.
Shahrol tells the judge that he is feeling under the weather.
Shahrol: I’m feeling very down and under the weather.
Sequerah: You’re not in a position to continue?
Shahrol: Yes, I don’t think I should (continue).
The judge then adjourns the trial which will resume on Monday morning.
Oct 9, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 19
Oct 8, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 18
Oct 7, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 17
Oct 1, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 16
Sept 30, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 15
Sept 26, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 14
Sept 25, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 13
Sept 24, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 12
Sept 23, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 11
Sept 19, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 10
Sept 18, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day Nine
Sept 17, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day Eight
Sept 10, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day Six
Sept 10, Rosmah Fond of Jho Low
Sept 5, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day Five
Sept 4, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day Four
Sept 3, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day Three
Sept 3, Jho Low in Najib’s Inner Circle
Aug 29, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day Two
Aug 28, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day One
Aug 28, Najib’s 1MDB Trial Begins