1MDB trial: Prosecution plans to call Jasmine Loo to testify

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Najib’s lawyer said Loo’s testimony could either ‘put a nail in Najib’s coffin’ or acquit him.

Yusof Mat Isa

The prosecution in Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s trial on Monday (Dec 18) told the Kuala Lumpur High Court that 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) former general counsel Jasmine Loo Ai Swan would be called to testify in the case.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib said the prosecution is planning to call Loo after taking into consideration the testimony of the Assistant Director of the Anti-Money Laundering Criminal Investigation Division ACP Foo Wei Min, which linked to the woman (Loo).

To this, trial Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah said that this development was something new.

On Nov 16, Foo testified that Loo would be a vital witness to unveil all the issues about Tanore Finance Corporation, an entity which has transferred USD681mil into Najib’s personal bank account and was said to be controlled by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low’s associate, Eric Tan Kim Loong.

Foo also agreed to the suggestion by Najib’s counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah that Loo’s testimony could either “put a nail in Najib’s coffin” or acquit him in terms of the issues relating to Tanore’s operations.

Foo also testified that Loo was the personal assistant to Jho Low.

On July 12, Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail confirmed that Loo was arrested by police on July 7 to assist in the investigation into the misappropriation of 1MDB funds.

During today’s proceedings, Muhammad Shafee informed the court that he still has to cross-examine the 46th prosecution witness, namely former Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz and 1MDB’s former chief financial officer Azmi Tahir.

“My Lord, I will cross-examine both of them (Zeti and Azmi) after I question the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Nur Aida Arifin,” said Muhammad Shafee.

As reported last week, Nur Aida is still under quarantine after contracting Covid-19 and today’s trial was cut short after the court heard the testimony of BNM’s analyst Adam Ariff Mohd Roslan.

Najib, 70, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes amounting to RM2.3bil belonging to 1MDB and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The trial continues on Jan 2, 2024.