It was fugitive businessman Low Teak Jho (Jho Low) (picture) who proposed for Article 117 to be inserted into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A), the High Court was today told.
Former 1MDB chief executive officer Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, 49, said the amendment to shift the decision-making power from the federal government to the prime minister was done on the advice of parties such as lawyers from Wong and Partners.
“For the amendment, the context on replacing the ‘federal government’ in Article 9(a) with ‘prime minister’ in Article 117 came from Jho Low. It was what Najib wanted, to make it unambiguous,” said the ninth prosecution witness.
He was being cross-examined by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, on the 24th day of the former premier’s 1MDB trial.
Muhammad Shafee: The lawyer in charge was Brian Chia
Shahrol Azral: Yes
Queried whether it was indeed the accused’s desire to get the amendment done, Shahrol Azral replied, “subsequently, I never asked Datuk Seri Najib”.
To a question by Muhammad Shafee, the witness said there were matters that required three separate approvals from Najib as Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and chairman of the board of advisers.
“The problem is that the same man (Najib) wears three hats”, Shahrol Azral said.
Najib, 66, 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.
Hearing before Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues, with senior deputy public prosecutor and former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram leading the prosecution.