Najib ignored red flags by 1MDB management - Senior investigating officer

At the time, he was aware of the management's failure to adhere to good governance practices but took no steps to halt it.

30 May 2024 08:45pm
The High Court was informed today that Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not take any action against 1MDB management despite numerous 'red flags' exhibited by them while they were serving in the nation's strategic investment company. Photo by Bernama
The High Court was informed today that Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not take any action against 1MDB management despite numerous 'red flags' exhibited by them while they were serving in the nation's strategic investment company. Photo by Bernama
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KUALA LUMPUR - The High Court was informed today that Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not take any action against 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) management despite numerous 'red flags' exhibited by them while they were serving in the nation's strategic investment company.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) senior investigation officer, Supt Nur Aida Ariffin, 37, testified that Najib, as the Prime Minister, Chairman of the Advisory Board and Finance Minister who fully owned 1MDB through the Finance Ministry Incorporated (MOF Inc) at the time, was aware of the management's failure to adhere to good governance practices but took no steps to halt it.

The 49th prosecution witness was responding to re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib in Najib's corruption and money laundering trial involving RM2.3 billion of 1MDB funds.

Further questioned by Ahmad Akram, Nur Aida mentioned that Najib had full authority to dismiss 1MDB's staff according to the company's Memorandum & Articles of Association (M&A).

Ahmad Akram: Did Najib dismiss anyone in the management team? Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman and Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi (former 1MDB CEOs), Jasmine Loo (former 1MDB counsel), Tan Sri Ismee Ismail (former non-executive director), and Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh (former chairman)...did Datuk Seri Najib dismiss any of them?

Nur Aida: No one.

Ahmad Akram: The defence has suggested that the actions of the management were the reason for the misappropriation of 1MDB funds. Based on your investigation, who benefited from the actions taken by the board of directors and management of 1MDB?

Nur Aida: Datuk Seri Najib.

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In today’s proceedings, Nur Aida also read excerpts from Najib's statement recorded by the MACC in 2018 during the investigation into 1MDB following the 14th General Election.

According to the excerpt, Najib claimed he initially kept part of the funds allegedly received from Saudi Arabia as a contingency plan after the 13th General Election in 2013 to prevent attempts by the opposition to topple the government.

"The remaining funds after the general election were kept temporarily in my account as a contingency reserve for special needs, such as the Sept 16, 2008 incident when the BN (Barisan Nasional) member of parliaments were being lured, when the opposition was trying to buy them," Najib's statement read.

"I had to be financially prepared despite disagreeing with this practice, fearing the opposition might try again.

"When no such moves occurred, I felt the need to return the funds to the person who transferred it into my account, someone appointed by Saudi Arabia, Tanore Finance Corp," Nur Aida quoted Najib.

Under further questioning by Ahmad Akram, Nur Aida stated that to date Najib has never reported any alleged forgery of his signature, as claimed by the defence, which argued that the 1MDB loan approval documents were altered, like they were copied and pasted.

Najib, 70, is facing four charges of using his position to obtain RM2.3 billion in bribes from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The trial continues before Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah. - BERNAMA