RM340 million of 1MDB money landed in Jho Low’s Good Star Ltd.
9.32am: Accused Najib Abdul Razak enters the High Court and takes a seat at the front row of the public gallery to wait for proceedings to begin.
Also in court is a former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, who is seen sitting in the witness stand, lead prosecutor DPP Gopal Sri Ram and other members of the prosecution, as well as Najib’s defence team.
9.50am: Najib enters the dock as proceedings begin.
The former prime minister’s lead defence counsel Muha Shafee Abdullah is set to resume cross-examination of Shahrol, who is the prosecution’s ninth witness.
9.55am: Trial begins.
Shafee tells Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah that for next Thursday, he and Sri Ram have matters at other courts. Shafee asks if they could have a later start.
The judge allows it but tells the lawyers that they may have to extend trial hours to 6pm next week.
10.40am: The court hears that barely a week after 1MDB transferred US$500 million to PSI Holdings in Sept 2012 for the latter to invest in a French energy company, a part of the amount had landed in Low’s company Good Star Ltd.
During cross-examination by the defence on Shahrol, the court hears about banking details on how Tarek Obaid, who had control over PSI Holdings, ordered for the transfer of some 82 million Swiss Franc from the company’s account into his personal bank account at JP Morgan on Sept 23, 2012.
Tarek also issued instructions to his personal banker to then transfer the amount, equivalent to about RM340 million, from his account to Good Star Ltd.
For the record, PSI Holdings is formerly a joint-venture company between 1MDB and Petrosaudi Holdings (Cayman) Ltd before 1MDB disposed of its shares worth US$1 billion.
PSI Holdings had on Sept 14, 2012 received the US$500 million from 1MDB as a loan for it to invest in GDF Suez energy company (now known as ENGIE).
10.45am: Shafee is asking the ninth prosecution witness on whether the latter had been shown the 1MDB-linked money trail involving the diversion of 82 million Swiss Franc from US$500 million.
The diversion was alleged to have been committed by Petrosaudi executive Tarek.
US$500 million was borrowed from AmBank by 1MDB back in Sept 2010 as part of a transaction involving the 1MDB-Petrosaudi joint venture.
“During investigation, I was shown high-level money trail from 1MDB to Good Star and to Aabar BVI entity, and where they (money) went through.
“Only high-level trail, not the (specific) details and mechanics,” Shahrol says.
10.49am: Shahrol says until today, he does not know how the US$300 million was used from the 1MDB-PSI joint venture.
10.53am: MIC deputy president M Saravanan is in the public gallery. Court takes a short recess. Najib and Saravanan have gone to the cafeteria.
11.43am: Court is in session.
Shafee goes through a transaction where 82 million Swiss francs were transferred from Tarak’s account to Good Star Ltd.
12.03pm: Shafee goes through the money flow into PSI by marking documents.
12.05pm: The High Court hears from Shahrol that he did not know if the US$500 million (about RM2 billion) loaned out by 1MDB to PSI Holdings in 2012 was really used to buy shares in an energy business.
Under cross-examination by Shafee, the witness says that he had never seen any documentary proof that PSI Holdings had used the remaining amount for the acquisition of GDF Suez shares.
Shafee: Have you been shown the bank statement of PSI Holdings?
Shafee: So, you cannot confirm if the balance was used to purchase shares of GDF Suez.
Shahrol: I cannot confirm.
According to banking documents produced in court, Tarek, who had control of PSI Holdings, had ordered for 82 million Swiss francs (equivalent to US$83 million) to be transferred into his personal account at JP Morgan.
Tarek had also ordered his personal banker to then transfer the amount to a RBS Coutts bank account belonged to Good Star Ltd.
12.19pm: Shahrol agrees that there is no commonality of purpose as stated in bank documents for Tarek’s alleged transfer of 82 million Swiss francs to Jho Low-linked Good Star Ltd.
The ninth witness agrees with what Shafee is trying to convey when presenting several bank documents.
The bank document confirming the 82 million Swiss francs were sent to Good Star stated a different reason than the one contained in the bank document stating the purpose for the money going to Good Star’s account.
“No commonality,” Shahrol says when looking at the bank documents.
12.40pm: Proceedings adjourn for lunch.
2.35pm: Court proceedings resume.
2.45pm: Shafee reveals that the defence is more than halfway in its cross-examination of Shahrol.
Shafee, however, tells Sequerah that the defence may not be able to wrap up cross-examination of Shahrol by Thursday next week.
Previously, the court had only fixed Najib’d RM2.28 billion 1MDB trial until Thursday next week.
Sequerah: How long more do you need to question Shahrol?
Shafee: (We are) more than halfway.
Shafee, however, cautions that the defence has not questioned Shahrol in relation to the Tanore aspect of the case.
Shafee: Speaking for myself, we suspect we will not be able to finish by the end of next week.
Sequerah: Then that means (more time needed by the defence) until January (2020)?
The lawyer says that the amount of questioning is needed as every part of Shahrol’s 270-page witness statement is a “loaded sentence”.
“Each sentence has material that we need to scramble, and we have been doing just that to dispute or see if there is support for what he (Shahrol) says (in the witness statement).
Shafee assures the court though that as a result of the numerous questions levelled at Shahrol, the defence would not need to cross-examine the witnesses that would come after Shahrol as much.
2.48pm: Shafee is referring to an email between Tarek and Patrick Mahoney that was published by The Edge.
The lawyer says the email was disclosed by Xavier Andre Justo.
Mahoney sent the email on August 7, 2010, telling Tarek that the former had held a meeting with Low and they both came up with a list of things to tell Najib, the court hears.
It was decided that they would hide from him the fact that 1MDB would have to take a US$500 million loss. Instead, they would impress upon Najib how important it was for the state investor to quickly invest another US$500 million with them.
2.52pm: They tried to explain to Najib about the 1MDB-PSI joint venture, which was on shaky ground, and Low and his partners were seeking another US$500 million from 1MDB, the court is told.
In the email, Tarek was instructed to tell Najib that they had good investment prospects, and they needed the money quickly.
They also suggested that the losses not be discussed with the then prime minister, as “(he) thinks we’re making good investments”.
2.58pm: Shafee asks Shahrol about the US$500 million loss. Shahrol says he does not know about the sum being referred to.
The witness says he is not comfortable commenting on the email as he “was not there” and “had no idea” what was being talked about.
3.03pm: Shafee suggests that they had misused US$1 billion from 1MDB and kept the money they made. Shahrol says he does not know.
3.05pm: Shafee suggests that they were supposed to tell Najib that the joint venture was doing well, therefore, they could get more money.
Shahrol says he does not know.
Sequerah tells Shafee that the witness was not privy to the matter.
The lawyer continues his questioning, but Shahrol says he is not comfortable making comments as he has no personal knowledge of the matter.
3.07pm: Shafee tells the judge that he will ask one last question.
Shafee: From the email, (do you agree that) the conversation was (about) trying to cover up (the losses) and mislead the (then) prime minister?
Shahrol: From the email, it seems that they were trying to mislead the (then) prime minister.
3.10pm: The trial sees Shafee bringing up an email that was purportedly sent by Mahoney to Tarek in 2010.
The email, dated Aug 7, 2010, discussed what looked like a plan between Tarek, Mahoney and Low on a US$1 billion fund belonging to 1MDB and what they wanted to tell “the PM” to get more funding.
Reading the email’s content during his cross-examination of Shahrol, Shafee then presses the witness to answer his questions on the Aug 7, 2010 email.
However, to most of the questions, Shahrol tells the court that he was not comfortable answering without full information as he had no personal knowledge of the matters.
The witness, however, agrees that “the PM” mentioned in the email might be referring to the Malaysian prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.
After being pressed by the defence counsel, Shahrol also agrees that based on the content in paragraph four of the email alone, it looked like there was a conspiracy to mislead Najib by the three people.
Shafee: Based on this particular paragraph four, wasn’t there a conspiracy to hide certain facts from the PM of Malaysia? From the fourth paragraph in this conversation between these persons
Shahrol: Based (only) on point four, it does look there is a conspiracy to mislead the PM.
4.15pm: Court takes a short break.
4.30pm: Court is back in session.
Shahrol testifies that he only saw a purported letter from Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki bin Abdullah to Najib when interrogated by MACC last year.
In Paragraph 294 of Shahrol’s 270-page witness statement, he testifies that the letter showed Prince Turki talking about ways for both Saudi Arabia and Malaysia to continue their joint cooperation via joint investments.
Shahrol said in the witness statement that the letter was a cover letter for a letter from PSI International, one of the entities involved with 1MDB in the 1MDB-PetroSaudi joint venture.
The ninth prosecution witness says that despite the Feb 18, 2011, letter being minuted to then 1MDB chairperson Lodin Wok Kamaruddin on March 11 the same year, he never saw it in the entirety of 2011.
Shafee: When did you see this (letter from Prince Turki to Najib)?
Shahrol: (I did) not even (see it) in 2011. Only during the investigation in 2018. I believe it was MACC (who showed the letter to me).
Court takes a short break.
5.31pm: Proceedings resume.
5.50pm: The court hears that in a meeting in April 2011, 1MDB’s board of directors decided that Shahrol’s performance had exceeded expectations and gave him a raise.
According to the minutes of meeting referred to by Shafee, the board had agreed for Shahrol’s salary to be given a 12.5 per cent increment from RM80,000 to RM90,000 a month.
The increment was to take effect on the same month (April 2011).
Shahrol joined 1MDB as its CEO in 2009 with a monthly salary of RM80,000.
The witness, however, testifies that he did not know what were the performance indicators that the board had based their decision on.
Shahrol says he had stayed out from the meeting when the board discussed his salary.
6.04pm: Proceedings adjourn for the day and will resume tomorrow sometime after 9.30am.
Nov 5, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 30
Nov 4, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 28
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 21, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 24
Oct 17, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 23
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 1, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 16
Sept 30, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 15
Sept 26, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 14
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 17, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day Eight
Sept 10, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day Six
Sept 10, Rosmah Fond of Jho Low
Sept 5, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day Five
Sept 4, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day Four
Sept 3, Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day Three
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, Najib’s 1MDB Trial Begins