Witness says Najib opposed repatriation of USD3 bln from Switzerland

Witness says Najib opposed repatriation of USD3 bln from Switzerland

KUALA LUMPUR,. In today’s High Court proceedings, it was disclosed that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak opposed the repatriation of USD3 billion in funds from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) held in Switzerland back to Malaysia in 2013.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) senior superintendent Nur Aida Arifin, 37, said the matter was revealed by former 1MDB chief executive officer, Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman.

“Mohd Hazem, as the chief executive officer of 1MDB, and 1MDB Global Investment Ltd’s (1MDB-GIL) board of directors had no access and control over the funds from these bond issues.

“Hazem made several requests to Najib to repatriate these funds to finance the needs of 1MDB. But Low Taek Jho or Jho Low instructed that it cannot be done because the funds were meant for UMNO’s election funds,” he said.

The 49th prosecution witness was reading out his 95-page witness statement at Najib’s ongoing corruption and money laundering trial involving RM2.3 billion of 1MDB funds.

The witness added that Hazem had once even requested Najib’s former chief private secretary, the late Datuk Azlin Alias, and 1MDB chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin to convey the matter to Najib.

“However, Najib did not allow the funds to be repatriated, and no clear reason was given,” he said.

The witness also clarified that on March 19, 2013, the USD3 billion bond issue was finalised and USD2,721,000 was transferred into the 1MDB-GIL account at BSI SA, Lugano Switzerland, that was opened on March 11, 2013.

The amount deposited into the account was after the deduction of service charges imposed by Goldman Sachs, he said.
He said on March 13, 2013, the Cabinet meeting chaired by Najib had agreed that the government via the Ministry of Finance should issue a letter of support for the issuance of 1MDB’s USD3 billion bonds.

“The next day (March 14, 2013), Najib as Finance Minister signed a Letter of Support to 1MDB for a USD3 billion loan from Goldman Sachs to enter into a joint venture agreement with Aabar PJS,” he said.

Earlier during the trial, Najib’s lawyer Tania Schivetti objected to the the testimony of the witness regarding the USD3 billion funds in Switzerland, saying it was mere hearsay.

Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah took the objection into account. The trial is ongoing.


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