Malaysian ex-PM Najib Razak’s defence lawyer Shafee Abdullah said his client was misled by 1MDB mastermind and fugitive businessman Jho Low.
Saying his team is sceptical of the prosecution’s ability to nail Najib on money laundering charges in his RM2.28 billion 1MDB trial, Shafee said it does not matter where the money the former premier spent came from.
He stressed that what matters in the case is whether Najib knew that the funds that ended up in his account originated from 1MDB.
He said prosecutors made a lot of promises in their first salvo against the ex-PM, adding that he feels there were one too many promises.
“I would like to see them prove it,” he said to reporters yesterday (August 28).
“You can see that in the SRC trial, the prosecution was having a very difficult time (linking up) Najib with Jho Lo.
“However, I do not want to talk about this as the trial (SRC) is still ongoing.”
He said Jho Lo had deceived so many people in bank fraud, 1MDB fraud and TIA (Terengganu Investment Authority) fraud.
“We will raise all of these points. So saying Najib is Jho Lo’s alter ego (as the Prosecutor says) I want to see them prove it. I don’t want to overreact and I don’t want to be subjudiced.”
Shafee said the defence has consistently said that with regards to the RM2.6 billion, that his client honestly believed his source and that the money came from the King of Saudi Arabia.
He said Najib met with the King of Saudi Arabia and was promised a political donation of 1 billion (He did not say whether it is US$ or in Ringgit Malaysia).
“The money went into his account as promised. That’s our stand. We’ve always said it and it’s not a secret and I’m repeating it again today.
“For Najib at the time, he had no idea where the money came from, as he honestly believed it was a donation from Saudi Arabia.” -/TISG