Mubadala Development Company (MDC) chief executive Khaldoon Al Mubarak said the Malaysian government made promises to him that were not delivered, a former aide to Datuk Seri Najib Razak testified in court today.
Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazarrudin, previously a special officer to the prime minister at the time, told the High Court that Khaldoon asserted to him that the Najib administration had made the promises in an attempt to dissuade the Abu Dhabi fund from suing over funds 1MDB owed to the International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC).
“Khaldoon told me that before this, they have been promised ‘all sort of things’ by Malaysia but it had failed to deliver,” he said when testifying in Najib’s main 1MDB corruption trial today.
“At the time, I didn’t understand what was meant by ‘all sort of promises’. Now I know that this could possibly be related to the binding term sheet signed earlier but not adhered to,’’ he said when reading from his witness statement.
In 2012, US investment bank Goldman Sachs underwrote US$3.5 billion in 10-year bonds sold in two issues on behalf of 1MDB.
These bonds were jointly guaranteed by IPIC and Malaysia’s Finance Ministry.
Amhari said he met Khaldoon at the latter’s office in Abu Dhabi in 2016 after he was told to visit on orders of strict secrecy from Najib and Jho Low.
“Najib had explained that if Malaysia were to go to the international court for failing to pay bond debts payments to IPIC, it would only sour the two-way relationship of both countries and had a political risk to the upcoming general election (then) because at the time the issue of 1MDB had not subsided and still being publicised worldwide.
“Najib said I needed to go and confirm with the Abu Dhabi side that both countries agree to resolve the issue without taking it to the international court,’’ he said.
Following the meeting, Amhari said Khaldoon had agreed to use unofficial channels to broker a new agreement.
Khaldoon also gave his undertaking that the sovereign fund would not involve the International Court of Arbitration on the condition that Malaysia honoured its obligations to IPIC in a timely manner.
In 2017, IPIC merged with MDC to form the Mubadala Investment Company. – MMO