Najib’s 1MDB Trial: Day 46

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The High Court today was told that the board of directors of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was never briefed on the payments amounting to US$681 million made to a company called Aabar Investment PJS Ltd incorporated in Seychelles (Aabar Seychelles) in 2014.

Former 1MDB chief executive officer, Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, said the directors too did not give any consent for the payments to be issued from 1MDB Energy Holdings Limited to Aabar Seychelles.

Mukhriz Hazim/Malaysiakini

The 49-year-old witness who has been on the witness stand since late last year, was being cross- examined by lawyer Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed at Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s RM2.3 billion 1MDB graft trial.

He was asked whether he was familiar with another Aabar, which bore the same name as fugitive businessman, Low Taek Jho or Jho Low’s Aabar Investments PJS Ltd (BVI) (Aabar BVI).

It was previously revealed in court that Jho Low and his associates had incorporated Aabar BVI in British Virgin Islands to be similar to Aabar Investment PJS (Aabar Investment), which was the real subsidiary of International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

Aizuddin: As of right now, are you aware that there are two purported Aabar Investments PJS Ltd entities, one is (incorporated) in British Virgin Islands and another in Seychelles?

Shahrol: I might have been shown the documents during the investigation.

Aizuddin: You agree that it has nothing to do with the real Aabar (Aabar Investment)?

Shahrol: I cannot comment on that.

During the first day of trial, the prosecution in its opening statement, contended that over US$175 million from the US$975 million bridging loan, was paid to Aabar BVI’s bank account, allegedly as part of the sum to buy back the Aabar options for the purchase of two independent power producer (IPP) companies.

Meanwhile, US$681 million from the loan was deposited into the Aabar Seychelles account between Sept 3 and 30, 2014

Aizuddin suggested that the proceeds from the loan were never paid to the real Aabar but instead it went into the Aabar Seychelles account.

However, Shahrol said Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman  who was the CEO after him had represented to the 1MDB board of directors that the funds were used to pay back the Aabar options.

Aizuddin: The proceeds of the loan were never paid to Aabar?

Shahrol: As represented by Mohd Hazem, yes.

Aizuddin: The money was in fact transferred in two tranches to Aabar Seychelles.

Shahrol: Yes.

To another question by Aizuddin, the witness said the decision to take up the loan was discussed among the shareholders and they went along with the refinancing direction.

“In 2014 and 2015, a lot of the decisions for the Aabar options and the IPIC guarantee were already made at the Prime Minister’s Office level,” Shahrol said.

Aizuddin: Would you agree with me that surely, the shareholder and chairman of the board of advisers (referring to Najib) would have only agreed to what was proposed by the management?

Shahrol: I cannot comment (on this) as I have no knowledge of the discussions between the management and chairman of the board of advisers.

Aizuddin: Would you agree with me that as a prudent businessman, rather than taking that loan, liquidating the assets was the better option?

Shahrol: Yes, it would make a lot more sense to liquidate and pay for the Aabar options.

Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

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

The trial before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues tomorrow.

Earlier reports: 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, 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