Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 24

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Proceedings adjourn early for Shafee’s eye check-up.

9.26am: Accused Najib Abdul Razak enters the court and takes a seat at the front row of the public gallery to await proceedings to begin.

9.37am: Lead DPP Gopal Sri Ram and lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah are seen entering the chambers of Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

9.49am: Sri Ram and Shafee are seen exiting the chambers.

9.56am: Najib enters the dock as proceedings begin.

Nazir Sufari/TMI

9.58am: Shafee tells ex-1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi that they’re now going to pinpoint the exact date when TIA (Terengganu Investment Authority) became 1MDB.

10.15am: The court hears that a joint-venture company between Petrosaudi Holdings (Cayman) Ltd and 1MDB had inherited a US$700 million debt.

According to the cross-examination by the defence on Shahrol, the debt was incurred when the joint venture company called 1MDB-Petrosaudi Ltd was still fully owned by Petrosaudi.

For the record, the debt was incurred by a loan agreement that was signed on Sept 25, 2009, by 1MDB-Petrosaudi Ltd before 1MDB even signed an agreement to formalise their joint venture.

Shahrol testifies that the US$700 million loan agreement was between 1MDB-Petrosaudi Ltd as the borrower and Petrosaudi Holdings (Cayman) Ltd as the lender.

According to a document tendered in court, the same person had signed the loan agreement for both sides – Petrosaudi CEO Tarek Obaid.

10.26am: The 1MDB board of directors never knew about the US$700 million loan agreement signed by the 1MDB-Petro Saudi International joint venture company on Sept 25, 2009, prior to the actual joint venture agreement between both the sovereign wealth funds, the court hears.

This is what Shahrol admits during cross-examination by Shafee.

Shafee: The (1MDB) board never knew of this agreement entered into (on Sept 25, 2009), prior to the JV agreement?

Shahrol: Correct.

Shafee: If this loan agreement had been presented to the board (beforehand), they would not have agreed to the terms?

Shahrol: I would agree with that.

10.38am: Shahrol testifies that he assumed the sovereign wealth fund’s business development executive director Casey Tang would ensure the US$700 million loan agreement signed by 1MDB-Petro Saudi International on Sept 25, 2009, was in order.

The ninth witness says this during cross-examination by Shafee.

Shafee: The JVC (joint venture company between 1MDB and Petro Saudi International) was suddenly in debt (of US$700 million) from the loan agreement, why you did not ask (about the loan agreement)?

Shahrol: As this whole thing was managed by Casey (Tang), I assumed Casey, with his superior experience, would ensure everything was in order.

Shahrol also agrees with Shafee that he has never actually seen the Sept 25, 2009, loan agreement during his tenure at 1MDB.

10.40am: Shahrol says the debt was there because assets were pumped in, in readiness for the joint venture.

He says the board was unaware of this and had they been aware, they would’ve asked.

He says they had bulldozed the joint venture through based on representations from Low.

10.43am: Shafee asks who would micromanage the joint venture.

Shahrol says it fell on Low.

He says the inherent message by Najib and Low was this was to get done.

Shahrol says he had never asked Najib about the US$700 million debt.

10.45am: Shahrol admits that he should’ve obtained a copy of the loan agreement and brought it up to the board of 1MDB.

Shafee: Don’t you think it would’ve been prudent to check it with your lawyers?

Shahrol: It would have but we had time pressure put on us. I really believed that this was of personal importance to Najib. We didn’t want to delay the transaction.

Nazir Sufari/TMI

Shahrol says working in Team Najib involved working in silos and you would not have visibility of the other silos.

Shahrol: When Low told me that this must be done by a certain date, I took it on good faith that this was the role that myself and 1MDB were to play.

10.52am: Shahrol says Low told him that there were additional Haj quotas for Malaysians because of this joint venture

Shafee: Have you ever asked Low for the full picture?

Shahrol: No.

Shafee: Did Najib tell you?

Shahrol: No.

10.55am: Shahrol says on one occasion at a CSR event, he asked Najib if he could talk to the PSU guys to bring their money back, Najib told him to talk to Low.

Shahrol says he was discouraged to find out beyond his silo.

11.16am: Shafee makes an observation that at every board of directors meeting, there’s always full quorum.

Shahrol agrees.

10.58am: Shahrol says he’s discouraged from enquiring on other issues beyond what was given to him in talking points by Low.

Shafee: Apart from that one time asking Najib, you never asked anyone else?

Shahrol: No.

11.34am: Shafee stops cross-examination to address Sequerah.

11.35am: Shafee explains that he has a medical certificate, seeking adjournment today to check his eye.

Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

Shafee: I need to be present at the Columbia Hospital for an eye operation check-up. There is a procedure I need to do. My eye would not be (usable) for a few hours. I ask for the matter (proceedings) be fixed on Thursday at 9.30am.

Sri Ram does not raise an objection to the matter.

Judge Sequerah allows the early adjournment application by Shafee.

Sequerah then allows proceedings to adjourn early today and to continue on Thursday.

11.39am: Court is adjourned for now. Tomorrow, lawyers will be at judge Mohd Nazlan Ghazali’s court to enter their submissions for the SRC International case.

Earlier reports:

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