Najib’s 1MDB trial: 1MDB board in ‘sandiwara’ on overseas funds belonging to Umno

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The board of directors of 1MDB was involved in a ‘sandiwara’ (charade) to keep from official record that the sovereign wealth fund’s overseas funds belonged to Umno, claimed former CEO.

Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman testified this during today’s RM2.28 billion 1MDB corruption trial involving former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

The 10th prosecution’s answer came during cross-examination by defence counsel Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed on attempts to repatriate 1MDB funds which were purportedly invested overseas in 2014.

Aizuddin’s line of questioning was on why Hazem did not put on record, during a 1MDB board meeting on Feb 27, 2014, that the funds overseas supposedly belonged to Umno. The witness testified that he attended the meeting as well.

The prosecution contends that billions of ringgit of 1MDB funds were funnelled out overseas in a convoluted money trail involving multiple entities, before billions of ringgit allegedly ended up in Najib’s bank account.

Also included in this alleged monetary trail was the US$3 billion of bonds issued by 1MDB’s subsidiary, 1MDB Global Investments Limited (1MDB-GIL) in 2013.

On Sept 14 last year during trial, Hazem claimed that 1MDB was set up to help fund Umno. The witness claimed this was told to him by 1MDB-linked fugitive Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low.

On Jan 6 this year, Hazem claimed that Low also told him that 1MDB was established to funnel money to companies linked to Umno. Incidentally, Najib also used to be the president of the political party.

During proceedings before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah, Hazem contended that every member of the 1MDB board was involved in the alleged scheme.

Aizuddin: Is there a reason for you saying everyone on the board knew the real purpose of the money?

Hazem: Yes

Aizuddin: Why not put it on record (in 1MDB board meeting minutes) that these funds overseas belong to Umno?

Hazem: This is a scheme. It is not supposed to be put on record.

Aizuddin: You claim this is a conspiracy that all the board members participated in?

Hazem: Yes.

Aizuddin: You are saying that whatever was reported in the minutes are just for show?

Hazem: They knew what was at stake.

Aizuddin: Their (1MDB board) direction to management (of which Hazem as then CEO was a part of) to liquidate and bring back the funds, it was all a sandiwara?

Hazem: Yes.

When the lawyer asked whether Hazem was playing along with the machinations of Low, the witness claimed that he thought the scheme involved both the still-at-large fugitive (Low) as well as Najib.

However, the witness agreed with Aizuddin’s contention that the former never heard directly from Najib himself that the 1MDB funds overseas actually belonged to Umno.

Aizuddin: You never heard from my client’s mouth that the (1MDB) money overseas actually belonged to Umno?

Hazem: No (in agreement).

Aizuddin: The basis for your belief (that the 1MDB funds overseas belonged to Umno) was based on what Jho Low told you?

Hazem: It was based on what (was told to Hazem by) Jho Low and Azlin (Alias, who was the late principal private secretary to Najib).


During the grilling, Hazem also conceded that part of the overseas funds that was successfully brought back, was credited into 1MDB’s bank account and not that of Umno’s.

The hearing will resume in the afternoon and is expected to also continue on Tuesday next week.

Najib is on trial for four counts of abuse of power and 21 counts of money laundering involving RM2.28 billion of 1MDB’s funds.

Besides being the former prime minister, the accused also used to be the finance minister and chairperson of 1MDB’s board of advisers.

1MDB is fully owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated (MOF Inc). – Malaysiakini

Earlier reports:

May 20, Najib’s 1MDB trial: US$2.7b became US$60,000 in just months but CEO kept mum

May 17, Najib’s 1MDB trial: Ex-1MDB CEO suspected illegal activities between Najib and Jho Low

Feb 15, Najib’s 1MDB trial: Ex-1MDB CEO believes UMNO benefited from 1MDB

Feb 15, Najib’s 1MDB trial: 1MDB’s senior executive meetings held in Jho Low’s apartment

Feb 10, Najib’s 1MDB trial: Najib claimed Saudi prince “donated” to 1MDB’s charity arm

Feb 9, Najib’s 1MDB trial: Najib received RM2.973b from 1MDB

Feb 9, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Jho Low known as “PMO” in 1MDB board meetings was “the man”

Feb 8, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Ex-CEO says in 1MDB, you either follow instructions or quit

Jan 6, Najib’s 1MDB trial: Day 52

Jan 5, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 51

Sept 17, 2020, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 50

Sept 15, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 49

Sept 14, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 48

Sept 3, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 47

Sept 2, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 46

Sept 1, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 45

Aug 17, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 44

Aug 5, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 43

Aug 4, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 42

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, 2019, 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