Najib 1mdb Trial Day 16 Defence Needs Two Weeks To Cross Examine Ex 1mdb Ceo Shafee




The criminal trial of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak involving the alleged abuse of power and money laundering of 1MDB funds enters its 16th day today at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur
Malaysiakini brings you live reports of the proceedings
Summary of Najib’s 1MDB ‘donation’ caseNajib is facing 25 charges of receiving RM2.28 billion, which originated from 1MDB through Tanore Finance Corp, a company owned by Eric Tan, a close associate of fugitive businessperson Jho Low
21 money laundering charges4 abuse of power chargesClick to view information on judge, prosecution and defence teamKEY HIGHLIGHTSDefence needs two weeks to cross-examine ex-1MDB CEO: ShafeeEx-1MDB CEO’s monthly pay was RM99,000 when he left in 2013Najib, Jho Low’s body language show they’re comfortable with each other - ShahrolWitness - Ex-PAC head Hasan Arifin told me to downplay Najib’s 1MDB roleRahman Dahlan discussed downplaying Najib’s role before PAC hearing: witness1MDB board told to downplay Najib, Jho Low's roles during questioningAuditor KPMG raised question on 1MDB foreign assets: ShahrolI was removed after expressing worry over speedy financial deals: witness1MDB leakages via siphoning borrowed funds for national projects - Shahrol1MDB had RM30b debt in 2013, the burden was on M’sian gov'tEx-CEO: Najib never inquired about 1MDB money after scandal broke outRM18b 1MDB-Aabar Investment PJS deal was Najib's "baby": witnessThank you for following Malaysiakini's live reportThank you for following our live report today
Defence needs two weeks to cross-examine ex-1MDB CEO: Shafee12.17pm - Najib Abdul Razak's lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah informs the High Court that the defence needs at least two weeks to cross-examine former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi
"Minimum of two weeks," Shafee answers when judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah asks how long the defence would need to cross-examine the prosecution’s ninth witness
The judge then allows proceedings to resume on Monday next week to allow the defence to prepare questions for the cross-examination of Shahrol
Proceedings then adjourn for the day and will resume on Monday
Ex-1MDB CEO’s monthly pay was RM99,000 when he left in 201312.10pm - The court hears from Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi that he earned RM80,000 a month when he first joined 1MDB precursor, the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), as its first CEO in 2009
According to Shahrol, he then worked his way up and had salary increments every year. He earned a monthly salary of RM99,000 when he resigned from 1MDB in 2013
Lead DPP Gopal Sri Ram, who is conducting the examination-in-chief on the witness, then asks Shahrol if the amount was before or after tax, to which Shahrol says it was before tax
Gopal then quips: "I'm in the wrong profession", to the laughter of the counsels and others in the courtroom
Besides his monthly salary, Shahrol says he also received RM179,000 a year as a 1MDB board member, while for each board meeting he attended, he would receive RM1,500
The court also hears that Shahrol had in either 2012 or 2013 received an 18-month bonus. He says that this was when his salary was still at RM80,000 a month
Najib, Jho Low’s body language show they’re comfortable with each other - Shahrol12.05pm - Former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi says that from the body language of Najib Abdul Razak and Jho Low, he believed the two were "positive and very comfortable" with each other
Shahrol testifies that this was based on his observation when Jho Low was present at Najib's house on numerous occasions
According to Shahrol, he also believed that Jho Low was very close to Najib's family
"Based on the body language and familiarity of Jho Low with not only the layout of the (Najib) home, and the way he communicates with me about the other (Najib) family members led me to believe he was quite close.”Witness - Ex-PAC head Hasan Arifin told me to downplay Najib’s 1MDB role11.55am - After the 2015 Public Accounts Committee hearing, then PAC chairperson Hasan Arifin (below) met with former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi to downplay Najib Abdul Razak's involvement in 1MDB decision making, the court hears
The ninth prosecution witness Shahrol tells lead DPP Gopal Sri Ram this during the examination-in-chief
Shahrol says the post-PAC hearing meeting was to prepare the kind of questions and discuss the contents of the report
"He (Hasan) told me (during post-PAC hearing) about the thoughts of the committee and what would go in the PAC report
"The message was to strongly imply that this is a political attack against the prime minister (Najib) and to downplay any role Najib had in the decisions of 1MDB," Shahrol says
Rahman Dahlan discussed to downplay Najib’s role before PAC hearing: witness11.47am - Prior to the 2010 Public Accounts Committee Hearing, its member Abdul Rahman Dahlan (below) discussed with former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi to downplay then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak's role in the company, the court hears
Shahrol says before the 2010 PAC hearing, wanted businessperson Jho Low had also given him talking points on what to say
"He (Jho Low) also arranged for me to meet with one of the BN PAC members before the actual hearing
"I met with Rahman Dahlan, he was a (PAC) committee member at the time and we talked about the kind of questions PAC would ask me
"The theme was to downplay Najib and Jho Low’s involvements in the decision-making (of 1MDB)," Shahrol says
1MDB board told to downplay Najib, Jho Low's roles during questioning11.45am - The court hears from Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi that Jho Low had given briefings to 1MDB board members before they were interviewed by MACC and the police in 2015 and 2016
Shahrol, who used to be 1MDB CEO from 2009 to 2013, testifies that the businessperson had given them talking points on what they should tell the authorities when questioned about the company
"The briefings underline two key themes. Number one is to minimise or to downplay Datuk Seri Najib and Jho Low’s (above) involvement in the decision-making in SRC International and 1MDB
"And number two is that all of this was a political attack against the Prime Minister," Shahrol tells the court
For the record, SRC International used to be a subsidiary of 1MDB before it became a company directly under the MOF Incorporated
11.39am - Proceedings resume with lead DPP Gopal Sri Ram questioning former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, following the witness completing the reading of his 270-page witness statement
11.20am - The court goes for a short break after star prosecution witness, former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, wraps up his witness statement
DPP Gopal Sri Ram is expected to continue with several additional questions to the witness after this
Auditor KPMG raised question on 1MDB foreign assets - Shahrol10.50am - From 2012 to 2013, auditor KPMG questioned the actual value of international assets owned by 1MDB, the court hears
Former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi testifies that however, KPMG was not able to confirm the value of the underlying assets of the investment by Bridge Global Absolute Return Fund SPC (Special Purpose Vehicle)
"This was caused by Bridge Global Absolute Return Fund SPC via BSI Bank giving the excuse of client asset confidentiality for not giving out the full information on the underlying asset," Shahrol says
Shahrol then wraps up his 270-page witness statement, and he then signs on the document
I was removed after expressing worry over speedy financial deals: witness10.17am - Former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi testifies that he was removed from 1MDB as he had expressed dissatisfaction over how rapid the fund's transactions were done
He says this during examination-in-chief by lead DPP Gopal Sri Ram (below)
“I suspect that I was removed from 1MDB because, at that time, I frequently expressed disquiet with how fast its financial deals were done
“However, I was still in the 1MDB board at that time, with the excuse given by Jho Low was to manage optics
"After the brouhaha of the 1MDB issue in 2015 and 2016, the 1MDB Board of Directors unanimously offered to resign but we were ordered by Najib to stay on until the new directors were appointed in 2016," Shahrol says
1MDB leakages via siphoning borrowed funds for national projects - Shahrol10.07am - The pattern of leakages from 1MDB from 2009 to 2013 was always via siphoning some of the funds borrowed for national projects, the court hears
Former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi testifies this during examination-in-chief by lead DPP Gopal Sri Ram
"I now realise the pattern of leakages from 1MDB from 2009 to 2013 has always been to borrow funds for projects that are ostensibly good for the nation and to siphon some of the borrowed funds
"Throughout the years, the method used by the perpetrators has been refined and tightened up, in the sense that the talking points and mandated tight timelines for fundraising leave less and less room for discussion at the 1MDB management and BoD (Board of Directors) levels
"For example, during the 2009 PSI (Petro Saudi International) Joint Venture, there were discussions at the BoD on the investment
"Contrast this with the 2013 US$6 billion joint investment fund with IPIC (ADMIC or Abu Dhabi Malaysia Investment Company Limited) that was done solely via DCR (director's circular resolution) and Shareholder Resolutions," Shahrol says
1MDB had RM30b debt in 2013, the burden was on M’sian gov't10am - The court hears from a former 1MDB CEO that all the company's debts had to be carried ultimately by the Finance Ministry and the federal government due to the fact that it was wholly owned by the ministry
Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, who served as 1MDB CEO from 2009 until his resignation in March 2013, testifies that the company was in a total debt of about RM30 billion then
He says this during examination-in-chief by lead DPP Gopal Sri Ram
Gopal: You were with 1MDB from 2009 to 2013, when you left there was about RM30 billion (debt), who carried this exposure ultimately
Shahrol: MOF, and the government of Malaysia due to the fact that 1MDB is wholly owned by the MOF
According to the witness, these debts include RM5 billion bonds issued by the company that was guaranteed by the MOF, and subsequent bonds totalling US$3.5 billion jointly guaranteed by IPIC and MOF
On the joint guarantees, Shahrol testifies that in the event of a default, 1MDB was supposed to pay first and in the event it cannot pay, bondholders can call on the IPIC guarantee
According to his testimony, IPIC would claim the money to pay the bondholders from MOF, as the parent of 1MDB
He testifies that IPIC had made such a claim before, and this had been raised during one of 1MDB board meetings either in 2015 or 2016, which Shahrol says he cannot remember the exact date
Ex-CEO: Najib never inquired about 1MDB money after scandal broke out9.55am - Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak had never asked 1MDB management what had happened to all the monies disbursed to various parties, the court hears from a star witness
The witness, former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, testifies that Najib had never called for a board meeting after news about the company's financial scandal broke out in 2014
Gopal: After the 1MDB scandal broke, I believe in 2014, did the accused call you and ask you what happened to this money
Shahrol: No
Gopal : I mean all the monies that 1MDB had disbursed to the various parties
Shahrol: No, he never did
Gopal: Did he call you and other board members for a meeting
Shahrol: No
Gopal: As to ask the whereabouts of these monies
Shahrol: Never
RM18b 1MDB-Aabar Investment PJS deal was Najib's "baby": witness9.45am - The RM18 billion strategic partnership deal signed between 1MDB and IPIC subsidiary Aabar Investment PJS was then premier Najib Abdul Razak's "baby", the court hears
Former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi testifies this in regards to the deal signed during a ceremony covered by the media at the Prime Minister's Office in Putrajaya on March 12, 2013
The ninth witness says the deal was also signed by then 1MDB chairperson Lodin Wok Kamaruddin (above) and Aabar chairperson Khadem Al Qubaisi
He says the ceremony was held in the presence of Najib and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces General Sheikh Mohamed Zayed Al Nahyan
"Najib's presence at the ceremony as well as at the PMO ceremony showed that he clearly had an interest, and it was Najib's baby. Najib's actions was in line with Jho Low's plans," Shahrol tells lead DPP Gopal Sri Ram during the examination-in-chief
9.35am - Najib enters the dock, and the proceedings begin
9.30am - Accused Najib Abdul Razak enters the court and takes a seat at the front row of the public gallery to wait for proceedings to begin
Also seen in court is lead DPP Gopal Sri Ram and other DPPs, as well as lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and other members of the defence team
With 28 more pages to go, former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi is expected to wrap up his 270-page witness statement on the 16th day of Najib Abdul Razak's RM2.28 billion 1MDB trial today
Judging by the pace of the examination-in-chief conducted by lead deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Gopal Sri Ram over the trial’s past five days since last week, the prosecution should be able to complete the questioning of the ninth witness Shahrol, which was not short of eye-opening revelations
In yesterday's proceedings alone, Shahrol (photo) testified that he heard from wanted businessperson Jho Low that a fund-raising linked to a proposed joint-venture between 1MDB and Aabar - a subsidiary of International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) - would have a major impact on the then-upcoming 13th General Election
Shahrol told the court that then prime minister Najib never once contradicted the instructions given to the witness by Jho Low, which led him (Shahrol) to believe that the fugitive financier had the mandate from Najib to act on the accused's behalf
The prosecution witness also testified that over US$790 million in security deposit paid by 1MDB as part of the acquisition of power producer Genting Sanyen was purportedly misappropriated by Jho Low, among other sensational testimony
As Shahrol is expected to finish the prosecution's examination-in-chief today, it would pave the way for Najib's defence team to cross-examine the witness. - Mkini

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