Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 42

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The defence team in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s corruption trial involving RM2.28 billion funds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) today chided the company’s management for being ‘duped’ on several occasions.

Mohamad Shahril Badri Saali/NST

Najib’s led counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah suggested that the sovereign wealth fund was run by a “bunch of idiots” when the company disbursed almost US$600 million to a fake company in 2012 for the development of TRX business district.

This after former 1MDB chief executive officer Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi testified that the management was duped into disbursing the monies to Aabar Investments PJS Limited (Aabar BVI), which has since been revealed as the fake Aabar and not the actual subsidiary of IPIC (International Petroleum Investment Co).

Aabar BVI was, in fact, a company incorporated by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, and his associates in British Virgin Islands (BVI).

Shahrol said at that time he thought everything was above board but only knew that 1MDB had been duped after finding out that the real Aabar is named Aabar Investment PJS, without the Limited.

“We believed that Aabar BVI to be a subsidiary of Aabar Investments PJS as they had common office-bearers, namely its directors Khadem al-Qubaisi and Mohamed Badawy al-Hussainy.

Yusof Mat Isa

“We also did not do any due diligence report on the company as I only conducted a ‘desktop research’ on the IPIC’s background,” he said during the cross-examination today.

The 50-year-old was testifying in former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s case involving the misappropriation of 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.28 billion.

Shafee, who referred the fake Aabar as “small Aabar” and real Aabar as “big Aabar”, said the 1MDB management had once again fallen into “cobra pits” in its investment dealing.

Shafee: Do you notice that we are moving in many cobra pits…1MDB (management) must be run by bunch of idiots to walk through these pits.

Shahrol: I reserve my comment.

It was reported that Khadeem al Qubaisi and Mohammed Badawy al Husseiny were sentenced to 15 years and 10 years jail respectively after being found guilty of committing financial crimes.

Shahrol also took a swipe at Goldman Sach’s former banker Tim Leissner and his team for failing to conduct due diligence report and alert them on the issue.

“They are our financial advisors, they should have done due diligence on this deal…maybe we could have avoided this happening,” he said, adding that he was not “thunderstruck” when IPIC issued a statement denying links to Aabar BVI.

“I was surprised but I was not thunderstruck by several revelations in the media in 2015.

“I was already numb by revelations made by online portal Sarawak Report regarding the company (1MDB),” he said.

Leissner was barred from the securities industry by the United States regulators after he pleaded guilty to bribery and money laundering conspiracy charges related to 1MDB last year.

Leissner is scheduled to face sentencing in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York soon.

Trial continues before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah. – NST


Earlier reports:

Aug 3, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 41

Jul 17, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Set to Last Until at Least June 2021

Jul 16, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 39

Jul 15, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 38

Jul 1, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 37

Jun 30, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 36

May 21, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 35

May 21, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 34

May 19, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 33

Nov 11, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 32

Nov 7, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 31

Nov 6, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 30

Nov 5, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 30

Nov 4, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 28

Nov 4, 1MDB Trial: Judge Reprimands Najib After Tg Piai Trip

Oct 31, Najib Calls in Sick with Swollen Eyes, 1MDB Trial Postponed Yet Again

Oct 30, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 27

Oct 29, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 26

Oct 24, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 25

Oct 24, Najib Asks Prosecution to Hand Over Justo’s Information Given to MACC

Oct 21, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 24

Oct 17, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 23

Oct 17, Jho Low Changed 1MDB Constitution to Give Najib Absolute Power

Oct 16, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 22

Oct 14, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 21

Oct 10, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 20

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 7, Some Umno People Envious of Jho Low-Najib Ties, Court Told

Oct 1, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 16

Oct 1, Arul Kanda Told Ex-1MDB CEO to Leave Country to Avoid PAC Meeting

Oct 1, Ex-1MDB CEO Paid RM99K Monthly, RM1.5M Bonus

Oct 1, Jho Low Helped Plan Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Trip to Sway Voters for GE13

Sept 30, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 15

Sept 30, Witness: Najib Used 1MDB to Raise Funds for GE13

Sept 26, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 14

Sept 26, Jho Low, Tim Leissner Played “Matchmaker” for Najib to Meet Goldman Sachs

Sept 26, US$9M Transferred from Jho Low’s Good Star to Riza Aziz’s Red Granite Pictures

Sept 26, Jho Low, Najib Faked Meeting Minutes to Move US$750M from 1MDB to PSI

Sept 26, Najib Agreed to 1MDB Borrowing RM3B from SOCSO to Lend to PetroSaudi

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 18, Najib’s Ex-Aide Led MACC to Raid on Jho Low’s Apartment

Sept 18, Najib’s 1MDB Trial Halted Briefly for Najib to See Eye Specialist

Sept 17, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day Eight

Sept 17, Witness Identifies Riza Aziz, Arul Kanda and Five Others as Key Players in 1MDB Saga

Sept 17, Bono, Queen of Jordan, Rosmah Floated as Trustees for TIA

Sept 17, Witness Says 1MDB Najib’s Baby, Defence Claims It Was Terengganu Sultan’s Idea

Sept 11, Najib’s Eye Infection Halts 1MDB Trial

Sept 10, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day Six

Sept 10, Rosmah Fond of Jho Low

Sept 10, Najib’s Ex-Aide: Jho Low Provided Scripted Responses to Deny His Involvement in 1MDB

Sept 10, Istana Negara Questioned Jho Low’s Role in 1MDB Predecessor TIA

Sept 5, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day Five

Sept 5, 1MDB Trial: Judge Raps Shafee over Najib’s Tardiness

Sept 5, 1MDB Trial: Najib’s Ex-Aide Took US$200K Loan from Jho Low to Buy Property

Sept 5, 1MDB Trial: Najib’s Ex-Aide Accused of Lying

Sept 4, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day Four

Sept 4, Najib’s Ex-Aide: Mudabala CEO Was Promised All Sorts of Things

Sept 4, Najib’s Ex-Aide, Jho Low on “Secret China Mission” to Bail Out 1MDB

Sept 4, Jho Low Ordered Najib’s Ex-Aides to Open Overseas Bank Accounts

Sept 3, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day Three

Sept 3, Najib’s Ex-Aide: Jho Low Drew Out Wealth Fund Concept on Kitchen Whiteboard

Sept 3, Jho Low Gave Possibly Forged Letters from Saudi Arabia to Stop 1MDB Probe

Sept 3, Only Najib and Jho Low Knew “Full Picture” of 1MDB Plan

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, Shafee: Prove Najib Knew Arab Donation Letter Faked, Jho Low Is Najib’s Alter Ego

Aug 28, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Shafee Again Questions Sri Ram’s Appointment

Aug 28, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Gopal Sri Ram’s Full Opening Statement

Aug 28, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Prosecution to Show Saudi Donations a Sham

Aug 28, Najib’s 1 MDB Trial: Prosecution to Prove Jho Low Was Najib’s Alter Ego

Aug 28, Najib’s 1MDB Trial Begins