Former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah grilled a key witness in the 1MDB case at the High Court on Tuesday, trying to get him to change his statement on the stand.

But the witness stood his ground, denying any attempt to implicate the former Malaysian premier in the scandal of the century.

He also denied being in cahoots with fugitive financier Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, who is on the run. Najib’s defence is trying to prove that Jho Low was instead a manipulator who conned the ex-prime minister of Malaysia in the scandal that contributed to bringing him and his government down in the May 2019 elections.

It was drama in the courts on Tuesday with the witness linking Jho Low to Najib and Rosmah with the parties they organised at Najib’s private home.

Najib’s lawyer resorted to attacking the witness choice of Malay words in his written statement but Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, 43, denied any inconsistencies or discrepancies with his testimony.

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Shafee told the witness he is inconsistent because “you are not telling the truth and fabricating the evidence. That’s how you want to implicate Najib. By saying Low’s instructions were Najib’s instructions.”

Shafee’s team has prioritised Jho Low as the mastermind in the 1MDB scandal and Najib as a victim of the flamboyant and elusive ‘conman’.

Amhari disagreed with Shafee on all counts, including on the choice of words he used saying they are the correct way of detailing and explaining the situation in their contexts.

“In fact you work hand-in-hand with Low. That is why you were rewarded with US$1 million (RM4.17 million); US$200,000 (RM834,929) in an unpaid loan and US$800,000 (RM3.4 million) in your bank account,” Shafee said, to which Amhari said, “I disagree.”

Last week the court heard testimonies from Amhari that he was shocked when he was informed by his bank of a wire transfer of US$800,000 in his bank account. But he admitted he took a US$200,000 loan from Low.

A loan he is yet to repay because Jho Low told him not to worry about it. -/TISG