Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 44

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Najib decided on successor, ex-1MDB CEO tells court.

Former prime minister Najib Razak had approved Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman’s appointment as 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) executive director, who had gone on to replace Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi as CEO, the Kuala Lumpur high Court heard today.

Shahrol said this during the cross-examination by Najib’s lawyer Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohamad, in the graft trial.

He also said Najib had acted on the advice of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, who pushed for Hazem’s appointment in March 2013.

Wan Aizuddin: Before we proceed, who nominated Hazem to be appointed as 1MDB CEO?

Shahrol: His name came to me via Jho Low. He passed me a CV. He mentioned it was recommended by Azlin.

Shahrol was referring to the late Azlin Alias, Najib’s former principal private secretary and the director of economics in the Prime Minister’s Office, which oversaw 1MDB matters.

Shahrol added that when the CV was passed to him, it included a “notation” from Najib suggesting Hazem be appointed as 1MDB executive director.

“The CV included a notation by Najib that stated ‘Hazem is to be appointed as executive director’. I clarified that there was no executive director’s role and proposed the position of chief operating officer.

“When Hazem came in, he was first made the COO, I made him responsible for real estate matters and I focused on energy assets,” Shahrol said.

Wan Aizuddin: His appointment, was it endorsed by the board of directors?

Shahrol: We did discuss Hazem’s appointment and there was a letter from Najib to approve the appointment.

Wan Aizuddin once again pressed Shahrol if he had misled the Malaysian government to appoint Hazem to continue embezzling money from 1MDB.

“Disagree, I have no knowledge of this,” Shahrol said.

Shahrol was 1MDB CEO from 2009 to March 2013 and was replaced by Hazem who served from March 2013 to January 2015.

Shahrol was then transferred to the government’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) that he said caught him off guard.

Hazem went on to replace Shahrol as 1MDB CEO and oversaw the dealings between 1MDB and Aabar Investments PJS Limited (Aabar BVI) relating to the Tun Razak Exchange.

Hazem was also involved in raising the US$3 billion bonds needed to finance the project.

It later emerged that Aabar BVI was a shell company registered in the British Virgin Islands and controlled by Low, and not the subsidiary of International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

Shahrol is the ninth prosecution witness in Najib’s trial and has been on the stand since September. The next witness to be cross-examined will be Hazem.

Najib, 67, is on trial on four counts of power abuse to enrich himself with RM2.3 billion from 1MDB and 21 counts of laundering the same amount. He faces up to 20 years’ jail upon conviction.

Prosecutors have accused him of conspiring with Low to defraud the state investor.

Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah is presiding over the case and the trial is set to continue on August 17. – TMI


Earlier reports:

Aug 5,

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