No written approval by Najib in acquisition of Genting Sanyen

by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA

THE High Court here was told today that there was no written approval by the then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (picture) for the acquisition of Genting Sanyen (M) Sdn Bhd (Genting Sanyen) by sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The matter was raised by Najib’s lawyer Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed when he cross-examined former 1MDB chief executive officer Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi by referring the witness to the 1MDB directors’ circular resolution (DCR).

Citing Article 117 of the Memorandum and Articles of Association (mergers and acquisitions) of 1MDB, he said, some of the company decisions required the  Prime Minister’s approval.

However, Shahrol Azral, who is the ninth prosecution witness, said the prime minister’s approval was not required for the acquisition of Genting Sanyen.

In his previous testimony on Sept 30, last year,  Shahrol Azral said the process of acquiring independent power producer Genting Sanyen (M) Sdn Bhd, was executed by 1MDB after approval was received from Najib, in his capacity as Finance Minister, representing MOF Inc in 2012.

Further questioned by Wan Aizuddin, Shahrol Azral agreed with him that on two occasions in 1MDB’s acquisition of power plants, namely the Tanjong Energy Holdings Sdn Bhd and Genting Sanyen (M) Sdn Bhd,  only DCR was used.

To this, Wan Aizuddin contended that Shahrol Azral was trying to avoid scrutiny from the board of directors over the acquisition, which the witness replied in the negative.

Shahrol Azral said 1MDB general counsel Jasmine Loo told him that there was not enough time to call up all the board members for a meeting to further discuss the acquisition.

Shahrol Azral: I have no reason to be doubtful of the general counsel as the documents were already prepared by Jasmine together with Goldman Sachs and everything was in order.

Wan Aizuddin: I put it to you the DCR was used instead of the full board of directors meeting because you intended to hoodwink them.

Shahrol Azral: I disagree.

Najib, 67, is facing 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.

The trial before Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on Aug 3.