I trust Jho Low because he was already making millions - Jasmine Loo

It never crossed her mind that the fugitive businessman was a fraud who legitimise illegal activities to siphon 1MDB monies.

15 Mar 2024 04:31pm
Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (second, left) arrives at the High Court today.
Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (second, left) arrives at the High Court today.

KUALA LUMPUR - A former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) general counsel told the High Court here today that it never crossed her mind that fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low was a fraud who legitimise illegal activities to siphon 1MDB monies.

Jasmine Loo Ai Swan, 50, said this was because Jho Low was already making millions of ringgit prior to his involvement with 1MDB and, in addition to owning the company UBG Berhad, he also owned several other businesses and dealings with companies owned by the Arabs.

The 50th prosecution witness said this when asked to explain why she did not question the US$9 million transferred into her two Swiss bank accounts between 2012 and 2013.

"I didn't think he (Jho Low) was doing this (siphon 1MDB monies), he was already making millions. I believe what I believe,” said Loo when cross-examined by counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah in Datuk Seri Najib Razak's corruption and money laundering trial involving RM2.3 billion of 1MDB funds.

Loo also disagreed with Shafee's suggestion that as an inside person in 1MDB, she never realised the monies Jho Low used to spend lavishly were part of 1MDB monies.

"I do not agree. I mean I did my job (as a general counsel) and I am not in charge of finance, I didn't have the visibility (of the money going in and out of 1MDB). I thought they were all genuine transactions,” said Loo.

Earlier, Shafee suggested to the witness that Jho Low is a "conman, a crook of the highest order”, yet Loo had no issues in taking instructions from such a person, to which she said:

"In hindsight, perhaps, but I don't know whether some of the things he said were untrue”.

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Shafee: Is there any character of Jho Low in the context of this trial that has redemptive value?

Loo: Perhaps not. But we cannot generalise his character that way.

Shafee: Why not? My client's character was generalised and his liberty is at stake. Jho Low's liberty is not. He could be on a beach somewhere.

Apart from that, Loo also testified that she went to Shanghai to meet Jho Low and managed to discuss the settlement regarding the United States Department of Justice (DoJ).

The witness also denied that she had negotiated with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the prosecution in lieu to drop two money laundering charges that she faced in this country.

In 2018, Loo was charged in absentia in court for allegedly laundering a total of US$5.99 million.

Asked by the lawyer what happened to the case, Loo said it was not under her control as she left it to her lawyers.

Najib, 70, faces four charges of using his position (as prime minister) 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 on April 1. - BERNAMA