I have never met Jho Low, law firm partner tells court

I have never met Jho Low, law firm partner tells court

KUALA LUMPUR: A partner of a law firm that used to represent 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) on financing matters in 2010 denied he had met fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho in the past.
Lim Chin Hian, 52, who heads the Finance & Projects Practice Group at Wong & Partners told the High Court today that he was 100 per cent sure he has never met Low, better known as Jho Low, despite Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s lead counsel, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s (pix) suggestion that the two had met previously.

Lim said this under cross-examination by Muhammad Shafee at Najib’s trial involving the misappropriation of RM2.3 billion from 1MDB.
Muhammad Shafee however asserted that there is an unnamed defence witness for this case who claimed that Lim had attended a meeting together with Jho Low and another partner at Wong & Partners, Brian Chia.

Muhammad Shafee: I am going to ask you this question and I’m hoping you will remember the events that have transpired, as honest as possible before the court. Can I ask you a direct question, have you met Jho Low?

Lim: I have not met Jho Low. 100 per cent I have not met Jho Low.
Muhammad Shafee: What if I were to suggest to you that we have a witness from 1MDB whose name we will not disclose, who actually attended a meeting where Jho Low was present, Brian Chia was present and you were present?

Lim: I disagree with that.
The lawyer then asked Lim about a joint venture (JV) company between 1MDB and PetroSaudi International Ltd (PSI), where he highlighted that a sum of US$700 million out of US$1 billion meant for the JV company was transferred to Good Star Ltd, an entity that belongs to Jho Low.

Lim said he has no personal knowledge on the matter and was also not aware that the money was not sent to the JV company.
Muhammad Shafee then suggested to Lim that the legal opinion given by Chia, who suggested that it was okay to transfer money to Good Star, had caused the strategic investment company to suffer a loss of US$700 million.

The witness again answered he had no personal knowledge about the matter.
Muhammad Shafee: I am putting it to you, the advice given (by Chia) was to protect certain people in 1MDB management. This legal opinion was formulated to benefit Jho Low and caused 1MDB to lose US$700 million.

Lim: I have no personal knowledge and can’t comment.
Najib, 69, is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.
The trial before judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on Nov 14.

— BERNAMA

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