Leissner mentions ‘bribery’ involving ex-BNM governor’s husband

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Former Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner, in his testimony before the New York Eastern District Court, had mentioned bribery involving a former Bank Negara governor’s husband.

However, he could not independently verify if a bribe was indeed paid.

According to court transcripts of Roger Ng’s trial, Leissner mentioned this when asked by prosecutors on his dealings with the PetroSaudi-1MDB joint venture project.

He explained that he had heard through Ng that 1MDB had invested US$1 billion (RM4 billion) into the joint venture.

“You have to understand in 2009 Malaysia still had capital controls in place, which would require an investment of that size to be approved by Bank Negara in terms of the money leaving the country.

“They would have to approve a billion dollars leaving Malaysia basically. And what Roger (Ng) reported back to me was that he had heard that the money had left overnight, the country.

“A billion dollars was wired overnight to Malaysia to the joint venture and it had been done because the husband of the then governor Zeti (Akhtar Aziz) at Bank Negara had received a bribe to make that happen,” said Leissner.

“So, overnight that money was transferred, which was unprecedented at that time. No approval was obtained that quickly with Bank Negara,” he added.

When questioned by prosecutors if the actual bribe was paid in relation to the PetroSaudi-1MDB joint venture, Leissner replied: “I don’t know independently if bribes had been paid.”

Based on the transcripts of Leissner’s testimony on Feb 22, he mentioned Zeti twice and did not mention her husband, Tawfiq Ayman.

In November last year, the MACC said Singapore had repatriated to Malaysia US$15.4 million in 1MDB-linked funds that involved a company co-owned by Tawfiq.

The MACC has not openly commented on the matter but some reports suggest that they are investigating Tawfiq’s involvement, alongside former finance minister II Nor Mohamed Yakcop.

Earlier reports:

Feb 23, Ex-Goldman chief discussed getting jobs for Najib’s children

Feb 17, Tim Leissner: Senior Goldman staff knew about Jho Low in 1MDB

Feb 17, Ex-Goldman banker Tim Leissner: Greed and ambition motivated 1MDB bribery

Feb 15, Tim Leissner allegedly a ‘double bigamist’