No inappropriate relationship with Jho Low, but more to friendship – Ex-banker

KUALA LUMPUR – A former AmBank relationship manager who handled accounts belonging to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today admitted at the High Court here that she had a close working relationship and friendship with fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low (picture).

Joanna Yu Ging Ping, 51, said Jho Low would often invite her for meetings at his apartment at Jalan Kia Peng, together with several of his close associates.

The ex-banker said this when cross-examined by Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah at the former premier’s corruption and money laundering trial involving RM2.3 billion belonging to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The 41st prosecution witness said that she was introduced to Jho Low by her superior Chan Wan Seong at Jho Low’s office at the Petronas Twin Towers in 2007.

“The meetings were mainly about Majestic Masterpiece Sdn Bhd’s loan,” she said, adding that Jho Low had a habit of calling bankers to come and meet him at his apartment.

Majestic Masterpiece was owned by Wynton Private Equity Group and Abu Dhabi Kuwait Malaysia Investment Corporation (ADKMIC). Jho Low was one of the directors of Wynton Private Equity Group.

When asked by Muhammad Shafee if she was alone with Jho Low at any point of time, the witness said usually several officials from 1MDB and Jho Low’s cronies would be there (during meetings).

Yu also admitted that she had meetings with Jho Low after her office hours.

Muhammad Shafee: You developed your relationship with Jho Low, I mean, as a banker and friend? Yu replied “yes”.

Muhammad Shafee: I’m not suggesting that you had an inappropriate relationship with Jho Low, but you had a close relationship with him, am I correct? Yu answered “yes”.

Muhammad Shafee then moved on to question Yu if she had gone to Brazil to watch the World Cup. The witness said, “I have never been to Brazil.”

Muhammad Shafee: Did you know Jho Low took a team of people to watch the World Cup?

Yu: I only know from the newspaper.

Najib, 69, is facing four charges of using his position to get bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering.

The trial before Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on Monday. – Bernama