FORMER 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) CEO told the High Court yesterday that he had suspicions that some illegal activities were happening in the company between Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak (picture) and fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low over the US$3 billion (RM12.39 billion) bond issuance.
The US$3 billion bond issuance involved 1MDB Global Investments Ltd to Abu Dhabi-Malaysia Investment Co Ltd.
Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman, 47, however, said he never asked Najib, who was the prime minister (PM) at that time, to clarify the matter but shared his concern with former 1MDB chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin and Najib’s former principal private secretary, the late Datuk Azlin Alias, knowing that they had access to Najib.
Najib, who was also the then finance minister, was the chairman of 1MDB’s board of advisors.
The 10th prosecution witness said this when cross-examined by lawyer Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed in the former PM’s trial involving misappropriation of RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds.
Wan Aizuddin: You said you had suspicions that the fundraising exercise…something is wrong. There is some nefarious agenda by Jho Low…and you also said Jho Low told you that all this bond issuance is an instruction of the PM?
Mohd Hazem: Yes.
Wan Aizuddin: Wouldn’t that mean that the PM would also be involved as per what Jho Low told you in this nefarious agenda?
Mohd Hazem: Wouldn’t the PM be involved? Absolutely yes, in hindsight, yes.
Wan Aizuddin: So, that is a very heavy accusation to say that the PM was involved in something illegal with the company?
Mohd Hazem: Yes, to a certain extent, yes.
The witness, however, disagreed with the lawyer’s suggestion that he did not clarify with Najib because not only did he have suspicions on Jho Low’s entire agenda, but he also played along with Jho Low’s plan.
Mohd Hazem said he never raised his suspicions to the 1MDB’s board of directors and did not lodge any report to the authorities on the instructions he received from Jho Low.
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 Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues today.