I did not meet Jho Low off the road, he was Najib's representative - Ex-1MDB CFO

26 Jan 2022 06:44pm
Datuk Seri Najib Razak entering the KL Courts Complex for his 1MDB trial. - BERNAMA
Datuk Seri Najib Razak entering the KL Courts Complex for his 1MDB trial. - BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR - Former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) chief financial officer (CFO), Azmi Tahir today told the High Court here that he did not meet fugitive businessman, Low Taek Jho or Jho Low off the road, but believed that he was the representative of Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 1MDB.

Azmi, 49, said this was because Jho Low was introduced to him by Najib’s late principal private secretary, Datuk Azlin Alias. Azlin died in a helicopter crash on April 4, 2015. He was being cross-examined as the 12th prosecution witness by Najib’s counsel, Datuk Hariharan Tara Singh at the former premier’s trial over the misappropriation of RM2.3 billion in funds from 1MDB.

Hariharan: As the then CFO, don’t you think it was inappropriate to take instructions from Jho Low who was not part of the company (1MDB)?

Azmi: No...because, the events leading to how I met him and all that, and what I believed and everyone else too. We thought he was legitimately representing Datuk Seri Najib. I didn’t meet him off the road somewhere, he was introduced by the late Azlin.

Azmi then testified on the meeting on Dec 15, 2013 at Najib’s residence with KPMG Malaysia, whereby the meeting was held as KPMG was dissatisfied with the inadequate explanations and documents provided in relation to the company's huge investment of US$2.3 billion in an unknown fund, Bridge Global SPC, which was made through Brazen Sky Ltd, a special purpose vehicle of 1MDB.

Azmi along with former 1MDB chief executive officer, Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman and former 1MDB chairman, Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin were in attendance together with Jho Low and Najib.

Hariharan asked Azmi why he did not verify these transfers when he met Najib at the meeting and the witness said in hindsight, he should have, but did not think it was an appropriate forum to speak to Najib about it.

Related Articles:

Hariharan: Wouldn't it have been prudent to check on the transactions? Why didn't you verify the matter with Najib? You should have asked Najib himself.

Azmi: It's very convenient to say I should have walked up to the PM (Najib) and ask...I’m sorry, I don’t think it's professional.

To another question, the witness agreed that Jho Low had benefited from the movement of funds from 1MDB to his company, namely, Good Star Ltd.

Azmi, however, disagreed with the lawyer’s suggestion that he was part of Jho Low’s plan to misappropriate 1MDB funds.

He also said that he had carried out any instruction from Jho Low without questioning him.

The Pekan MP 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 Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues tomorrow. - BERNAMA