Jasmine Loo would be a vital witness in Najib’s 1MDB trial, IO confirms

KUALA LUMPUR – An investigating officer in Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s case involving the misappropriation of RM2.3 billion of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds told the High Court today that 1MDB former general attorney Jasmine Loo Ai Swan (picture) would be a vital witness to unveil all the issues in relation to Tanore Finance Corporation.

Tanore is an entity which has transferred US$681 million into the former premier’s personal bank account and was said to be controlled by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low’s associate, Eric Tan Kim Loong.

Assistant Director of the Anti-Money Laundering Criminal Investigation Division ACP Foo Wei Min agreed to the suggestion by Najib’s counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah that Loo’s testimony could either “put a nail in Najib’s coffin” or acquit him in terms of the issues relating to Tanore’s operations.

Foo said he obtained this information from Loo during interrogation after the 49-year-old woman surrendered herself to the police on July 7, but Foo stressed that he was only investigating Loo on the 1MDB asset recovery issue.

Muhammad Shafee then asked the 48th prosecution witness whether he knew that Loo was in contact with Jho Low pertaining to Tanore.

Foo said Loo was always in contact with Jho Low over the five years since he absconded but Loo said it was never to discuss Tanore.

Muhammad Shafee: Are you aware that Loo met Jho Low not so long ago…with some other 1MDB previous officers? Azmi Tahir (1MDB former chief financial officer and 1MDB 12th prosecution witness) was there.

Foo: From the statement she gave, she met Jho Low in China in 2019 and with her were some other 1MDB officials.

Muhammad Shafee: You know Loo and Jho Low is as thick as a thief. They were very close.

Foo: From what I know Loo was the personal assistant to Jho Low. Wherever he went, he would call Loo and she would be the one who arranged meetings for Jho Low.

Earlier, Muhammad Shafee asked Foo about the four letters from Saudi royalty regarding the donation that was promised to Najib.

The lawyer said Foo as an investigating officer of the case must have seen the four letters where the dates of when the money was going to be sent and how it was going to be sent, namely through Blackrock Commodities and Tanore.

Foo said he confirmed the money came from the Saudi royalty but could not determine if it really was a  donation.

Muhammad Shafee: Did you investigate the genuineness of the letters?

Foo: I tried to investigate and contact the Arab royals through Mutual Legal Assistance by the police but to no avail. There was no response, and they were not willing to cooperate with us.

Najib, 70, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes amounting to RM2.3 billion belonging to 1MDB and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The trial before Justice Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on Dec 5. – BERNAMA / pic TMR FILE