Asia Malaysia Arab prince money to Najib a cover-up, says prosecutor

Arab prince money to Najib a cover-up, says prosecutor

The lead prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram said that after the 1MDB scandal broke in early July 2015, sham documents were produced to pretend it was a donation from the Arab prince

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Former Malaysian premier Najib Razak conceived an elaborate plan to cover his tracks in the 1MDB scandal and this includes the pretense that money was funnelled in through a donation by an Arab prince, the High Court heard.

This is what lead prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram said at the Kuala Lumpur High Court in his opening statement in Najib’s biggest trial.

He  said after the 1MDB scandal broke in early July 2015, sham documents were produced to pretend it was a donation from the Arab prince.

“Among those were letters and four cheques each for a sum of USD$25mil (RM105mil), purportedly written out by a person said to be the Arab donor.

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“But these cheques were never meant to be cashed and were never cashed,” he said on the first day of the 1MDB trial on Wednesday (Aug 28).

Najib did not react with his usual long Facebook posts which have become customary every time damaging evidence surfaced during the SRC International trial.
Instead, he posted a video of his lead lawyer Shafee Abdullah giving some insight on Najib’s strategy against the accusations from the prosecution.
He wrote a simple note: “Other than reading the headlines of the media controlled by the Pakatan Harapan regime, today we can listen to the response from my lawyer regarding the 1MDB trial.”
In his defence against accusations he faked the donation from the ‘Saudi Prince’, Najib had posted letters and wire transfer notes on his Facebook account.
At that time, he said that was evidence the money he received was transferred to his account by the Saudi royal. The letters were supposed to be supporting evidence that these were not money laundering or bribes, but gifts to encourage him in his fight against ISIS.
But Sri Ram said the prosecution will produce evidence to show that Najib had taken active steps to evade justice.
“He interfered with the course of the investigation of this case, which has come to be known as the 1MDB scandal.
“He took active steps to effect a cover-up of his criminal acts. The prosecution will rely on all this evidence to show that the accused had the requisite mens rea when the offences with which he is charged were committed,” Sri Ram said.
Najib is facing four charges of having used his position to obtain gratification, totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds. He is facing 21 counts of money laundering involving the same money. -/TISG
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