Prosecution also to prove Najib took steps to cover up his criminal acts.
The prosecution in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) trial which started today will attempt to prove to the High Court that Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak took steps to cover his tracks after the 1MDB scandal broke in early July 2015.
Senior DPP Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, in his opening statement, said sham documents were produced to pretend a donation from an Arab Prince.
“Among these were letters and four cheques, each for a sum of US$25 million (RM105 million) purportedly written out by a person said to be the Arab donor. But these cheques were never meant to be encashed and were never encashed.
“The prosecution will also produce evidence to show that the accused took active steps to evade justice. He interfered with the course of the investigation of this case which has come to be known as the 1MDB scandal.
“He took active steps to effect a cover-up of his criminal acts. The prosecution will rely on all this evidence to show that the accused had the requisite means when the offences with which he is charged were committed,” he told High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah on the first day of Najib’s 1MDB trial.
Sri Ram added that besides fugitive businessman Jho Low, two royal personalities were also involved in the misappropriation of 1MDB funds, particularly in the Good Star phase.
They were one ‘Prince Faisal’ and another ‘Prince Turki’.
“Prince Turki, the accused and Jho Low were so close that they holidayed together on a yacht in the south of France,” Sri Ram told the court.
Investigators began their probe into suspected misappropriation of public funds at 1MDB and SRC International from July 2015. However, after investigations were completed, then attorney-general Apandi Ali said on January 26, 2016 that no crimes were committed.
Apandi also said the US$681 million (RM2.86 billion) deposited into Najib’s bank accounts was a “personal donation” from the Saudi royal family and given without any consideration.
Najib said the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia donated the amount to combat an uprising in Malaysia similar to the Arab Spring, which toppled several Middle Eastern leaders.
Najib posted on his Facebook last September three documents purportedly from King Abdullah, one bearing the words ‘Recognition of contribution to the Islamic world’, dated February 1, 2011.
“The king was concerned after knowing there was the possibility of a Malaysian Spring, as Malaysia was also a Muslim country although it was not in the Middle East or Africa,” Najib said last year.
“Due to these concerns as well as our close relationship, in early 2011, the king promised to prepare funds for me and the party to be used in Malaysia.”
He also posted on Facebook a purported letter from Prince Saud Abdulaziz Al-Saud dated February 1, 2011, acknowledging a gift of US$100 million (RM400 million) in recognition of Najib’s “contribution to the Islamic world”.
A lead investigator from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission testified last week at the SRC International trial that Najib received close to RM400 million from a Saudi prince in 2011, identified as a Prince Faisal Turki.
MACC assistant commissioner (special operations) Rosli Husain confirmed that the Saudi Finance Ministry transferred more than RM200 million into Najib’s accounts.
Faisal was reportedly connected to Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners, a 1MDB-linked company mentioned in court.
Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners – which has no connection with the hedge fund Blackstone Group – will be one of the central focus areas in the 1MDB trial.
Aug 28, Najib’s 1MDB Trial Begins