1MDB board in ‘sandiwara’ on overseas funds belonging to UMNO – Witness

by BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Former chief executive officer of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) told the High Court here today that the 1MDB board of directors was involved in a ‘sandiwara’ (stage play) to conceal the overseas funds of the sovereign wealth fund belonged to UMNO.

Tenth prosecution witness Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman (picture) said this when cross-examined by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s lawyer, Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed, in the former premier’s trial involving misappropriation of RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds.

When asked why he did not put on record during the 1MDB board meeting on Feb 27, 2014, that the overseas overseas supposedly belonged to UMNO, the witness said “this was a scheme and this was not supposed to be put on record”.

Wan Aizuddin: You claim this is a conspiracy that all the board members participated in?

Mohd Hazem: Yes

Wan Aizuddin: You are saying that whatever was reported in the minutes are just for show?

Mohd Hazem: They knew what was at stake.

Wan Aizuddin: So, you are saying that, whatever that was recorded in the minutes of the board meeting (to bring back the funds from overseas) it is all for show? Are you saying all this was a big sandiwara?

Mohd Hazem: Yes

The 49-year-old witness also agreed to the lawyer‘s suggestion that none of the money which was repatriated from overseas went into UMNO’s bank account.

To another question, Mohd Hazem told the court that he had never heard from Najib’ himself saying that the 1MDB’s overseas funds belonged to UMNO, but only based it on what was said by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low and Najib’s former principal private secretary, Datuk Azlin Alias (now deceased).

He said  based on the 1MDB’s minutes of meeting,  the company share holder (Najib) had the intention to bring back the overseas money to Malaysia.

On Jan 6, this year, Mohd Hazem testified that 1MDB was set up for the benefit of UMNO and it was conveyed to him by Jho Low.

Najib, 67, who underwent eye surgery last week, was seen wearing black spectacles while sitting in the dock.

Najib 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.