KUALA LUMPUR: The former chief executive officer of state-owned sovereign wealth fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), told the High Court here today that fugitive businessman Jho Low had brought his cronies into Terengganu Investment Authority Berhad (TIA), which was later became 1MDB.
Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, 49, said this when cross-examined by Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the defence counsel for Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on the 18th day of the 1MDB trial against the former premier.
Muhammad Shafee: Jho Low put his people such as Jasmine Loo (1MDB’s lawyer), Terence Geh (1MDB director) and Casey Tang (1MDB executive director).
Shahrol Azral: I did not realise the thing was happening.
Muhammad Shafee: You did not realise that it was Jho Low’s plan to put his people around you?
Shahrol Azral: Yes, now it’s quite clear. But in 2009, I saw him as a sincere representative of the TIA. In the early days, when we did fundraising, he was also speaking for Najib (also the finance minister at the time).
The ninth prosecution witness told the court that shortly after he (Shahrol Azral) was appointed as CEO, Jho Low and Tang were already talking to bankers regarding government guarantee bonds for the TIA.
Najib, 66, faces 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.
Hearing before Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues, with senior deputy public prosecutor and former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram leading the prosecution.