Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 44

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Prime Minister’s Office pushed for JV agreement between 1MDB and Aabar.

The High Court today was told that the joint venture (JV) agreement, rather than Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and Aabar Investment PJS was done in a hurry because it was directed by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Former 1MDB chief executive officer Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi said although it was proper to sign the MoU first before inscribing the JV agreement, it was not necessary as the details on the agreement were moved by the PMO.

“I was told by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s former principal private secretary, the late Datuk Azlin Alias, that it was imperative to have the JV agreement ready before the visit of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi to Malaysia, hence it needs to be done before his visit.

Yusof Mat Isa

“I remember there was an email sent by Azlin, who forwarded us a copy of an email from Abu Dhabi entrepreneur, Khaldoon Khalifa Al-Mubarak stating the terms of the JV. It was sent late 2012 or early 2013. I took it in good faith it was a government-to-government (G2G) initiative,” said the ninth prosecution witness.

He said this during cross-examination by lawyer Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed at Najib’s RM2.3 billion 1MDB graft trial.

Shahrol Azral further clarified that it was not his idea to push for the timeline of the JV agreement because it was fully managed by 1MDB legal counsel, Jasmine Loo, and at the same time being moved forward by the PMO.

“The instruction (to finalise the JV agreement) came from PMO via the instruction and talking points from the fugitive businessman, Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.

“Among the things that were finalised in the agreement was 1MDB and Aabar need to inject RM3 billion each before the director of the JV company can be appointed,” he said.

The fundraising for the JV was part of the terms and conditions regarding a land deal on the development of Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (now known as TRX) between Aabar and 1MDB.

Wan Aizuddin then raised an issue regarding the agreement, where all the documents pertaining to the JV had been finalised, yet the agreement was never materialised until 2014.

Wan Aizuddin: What else the JV is lacking that the JV company is still waiting to execute the development?

Shahrol Azral: We are waiting for a similar indication from Aabar that they have injected the RM3 billion. At the company level, all parties need to do the sign-off.

Wan Aizuddin: So, there was no confirmation that Aabar has injected the RM3 billion on their part?

Shahrol Azral: No and the terms of the agreement was never revisited.

Wan Aizuddin: What did you know about the RM3 billion (from 1MBD side) that has been raised for the purpose of the JV?

Shahrol Azral: From what I remember, it was kept in 1Malaysia Development Berhad Global Investment Limited (1MDB GIL) account and managed in cash management account that generated income return while we wait for the JV to be finalised.

Najib, 67, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

Kamal Ariffin/TMI

The trial before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on Sept 1.


Earlier reports:

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, 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