Court-Najib: Cabinet not informed about US$3.5 bln bond issue – Witness

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 (Bernama) — The High Court here today was told that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak did not inform the Cabinet about the US$3.5 billion bond issue for 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) acquisition of Tanjong Energy Holdings Sdn Bhd (TEHSB) and Genting Sanyen Sdn Bhd. 

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) senior investigating officer Nur Aida Arifin testified that the Ministry of Finance was in the dark about the issuance of two bonds of US$1.75 billion each, even though the Ministry of Finance Incorporated’s loan obligations would impact the country’s finances.

She said two resolutions signed by Najib were attached to the Digital Circular Resolution (DCR) that had to be signed by all the board members which showed that the final decision had been made and they just had to follow the mandate.   

“The two resolutions involved are the 1MDB minutes by representatives of the parent company regarding subsidiary company proceedings and the resolution of redeemable preference shareholders with special rights in writing.

“This can clearly be seen in the acquisition of Genting Sanyen, which was made in haste with all decisions obtained through DCR without discussions in detail during the 1MDB board meeting, despite involving high-value investments,” she said.

The 49th prosecution witness was reading out her 95-page witness statement, at Najib’s RM2.3 billion 1MDB corruption and money laundering trial. 

In 2019, former 1MDB Chief Executive Officer Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi testified in court that fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low arranged US$790.3 million for the takeover of Genting Sanyen’s equity and embezzled it before depositing the sum into Najib’s account.

According to Shahrol Azral, Jho Low planned to channel 1MDB funds through an account controlled by him before transferring it into the former prime minister’s account.

Nur Aida also told the court today that Najib’s personal account received US$30 million from a fictitious company named Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners in 2012.

“The source of the deposit is the US$1.75 billion bond issued by 1MDB’s subsidiary 1MDB Energy (Langat) Limited.

“USD30 million was transferred through two transactions on Oct 30 and Nov 20, 2012,” the witness added.

Blackstone is a company said to be controlled by Jho Low, through his associate Tan Kim Loong or Eric Tan.

Najib, 70, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes amounting to RM2.3 billion of 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering for the same sum. 

The trial before Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah will resume on January 24.