Kuala Lumpur—At the corruption trial for former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the High Court said that fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, more popularly known as Jho Low, actually prepared frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding Mr Low’s involvement in 1MDB so that Mr Najib and other high officials would know what to answer when questioned.
Mr Najib faces 25 charges of money laundering and power abuse involving RM2.28 billion (approximately S$ 754 million) in 1MDB funds.
The former Prime Minister was charged under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act, punishable under Section 24(1) of the same law.
If he is convicted, he will face jail time of up to 20 years and a fine of up to five times the sum or value of the gratification or RM10,000 (approximately S$ 3,305), whichever is higher.
Information concerning the FAQ document was revealed by Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, who served as a special officer to Mr Najib during his time as Deputy Prime Minister and as Prime Minister.
Mr Amhari said these FAQs were given to both himself and to his former principal private secretary, Azlin Alias.
In essence, the FAQs said that Mr Low had no role in 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). It also refutes the claim that Mr Low had been one of the advisors who was appointed by Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, the former King of Malaysia, to Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), which is the precursor to 1MDB, from January to May 2009.
“The FAQs served as underlying statements for relevant key individuals to say. It was also suggested for Najib to say this as well,” he told the High Court.
Mr Amhari was asked by defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah if he had a copy of this FAQ document, but the former special officer to Mr Najib said that he believed this was among the papers that had been seized by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
He also added that Mr Low had asked for the document to be shredded.
Mr Amhari also said that Mr Low was a close friend of the wife of former Prime Minister Najib, Rosmah Mansor and that Mr Low had visited the private parties Madam Rosmah had hosted at their home in Kuala Lumpur.
Mr Amhari said, “She spoke fondly of him,” and also said that he would hear her speak to Mr Low when he and Mr Azlin met with him in a hotel, adding, “It was very loud.”
This led Mr Amhari to believe that there was indeed a close bond between them.
The defence counsel asked, “Did you attend any meetings that you witness this sense of closeness?
Mr Amhari replied, “There were some functions and meet-ups; Jho Low was there while I was in another section of the house.”
Confirming the location, Mr Shafee asked him, “Was this their Number 11 house (in Langgak Duta)?”
The former special officer replied, “Yes.
The defense counsel then asked him, “So what transpired that you conclude that they were close?”
Mr Amhari said, “Some of these functions, if I can generalise, are private functions organised by Datuk Seri (Najib) and Datin Seri (Rosmah). Jho Low was invited as well and they were very very exclusive.” -/TISG