Late-night conversation with Jho Low not benefitting any of us – Ex-banker

KUALA LUMPUR – A late-night conversation between a former AmBank relationship manager and fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low (picture) in 2014, was of no benefit to any of them, the High Court heard today.

Joanna Yu Ging Ping, 52, who communicated with Jho Low through BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) chats between 12.41 am and 11.36 am on Aug 21, 2014, said it was about the issuance of the RM5 million cheque to UMNO.

Yu, who handled Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s accounts at that time, said this during the re-examination by Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib at Najib’s trial involving the misappropriation of RM2.3 billion from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds.

Ahmad Akram: When the late-night conversation took place on Aug 21, 2014, what was discussed between you and Jho Low?

Yu: He told me at around 12.41 am to arrange the RM5 million cheque to UMNO. I read the message around 1 am and said okay and asked, which account?

Ahmad Akram: So, it (the chat) was about the money to be paid to UMNO? To whose benefit is this?

Yu: UMNO, I suppose.

Ahmad Akram: The conversation was not for the benefit of you or Jho Low, but for UMNO?

Yu: Yes, to make sure the cheque doesn’t bounce.

The 41st prosecution witness also told the court that she often met Jho Low at his luxurious apartment at Jalan Kia Peng to get his signature on bank papers relating to 1MDB projects.

Ahmad Akram: It was not for any personal thing between you and Jho Low?

Yu: No, it is only for work.

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.

For the corruption charges, Najib is alleged to have committed the offences at the Jalan Raja Chulan branch of AmIslamic Bank Berhad at No. 55, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Ceylon here between Feb 24, 2011, and Dec 19, 2014, while the money laundering offences were allegedly committed at the same bank between March 22, 2013, and Aug 30, 2013.

The hearing before Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues. – Bernama / pic TMR File