Najib 1mdb Trial Day 18 I Ve Never Seen Jho Low Sign Any Documents Shahrol



The criminal trial of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak involving the alleged abuse of power and money laundering of 1MDB funds enters its 18th 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 HIGHLIGHTSI've never seen Jho Low sign any documents - Shahrol'Never knew secondary subscriber of bonds was Jho Low's company'No idea where you're heading - witness tells ShafeeGov't acted responsibly in granting guarantee to TIA: ex-CEORecords don't show Najib benefited from RM5b bond issuance - ShahrolI would appoint Shafee as lawyer if I set up a company, quips witnessJho Low 'very particular' on using expensive paper for letter to NajibWitness: Jho Low spoke about political tussle between T'ganu, gov't'Jho Low may have chosen me due to my inexperience in finances'No opportunity to tell former Agong I was not qualified - ShahrolFurther grilling of Shahrol promises gripping testimonyThank you for following Malaysiakini's live reportThank you for following our live report today
4.38pm - Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah allows proceedings to adjourn for the day, and to resume tomorrow morning
I've never seen Jho Low sign any documents - Shahrol4.25pm - Former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi has never seen Jho Low (below) sign documents before him in all the years they knew each other, the court hears
This is revealed by the 9th witness during cross-examination by lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah
Shafee is asking Shahrol about a signature on a document linked to Low being the beneficial owner of the company Good Star Limited
Shafee: Whose signature is that
Shahrol: I do not know
Shafee: In all the years you knew Low, you cannot identify his signature. Why
Shahrol: Because I never saw any documents signed by him (Low)
'Never knew secondary subscriber of bonds was Jho Low's company'4.10pm - Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi testifies that he never knew that it was Jho Low's company that became a secondary subscriber of 1MDB bonds in 2009
The former 1MDB CEO says he only knew about this from the media and when he was questioned by police last year
Shahrol testifies that he was asked by police investigators if he knew about a company called Aktis Singapore Pvt Ltd, before subsequently being told that its beneficiary was Low
According to defence lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah's cross-examination on Shahrol, Aktis Singapore had entered into an agreement with Ambank to be the secondary subscriber of 1MDB Islamic medium-term notes on May 18, 2009
The company subscribed to a total of RM700 million nominal value of 1MDB bonds through the bank
It had earlier been established that Ambank Group through its AmInvestment Bank was the primary subscriber of 1MDB's bonds for up to RM5 billion nominal value
Shahrol agrees that it came as a shock to him when he learnt that Low's company had subscribed to the bonds
He also agrees to a suggestion by Shafee that Ambank should have known that the company was linked to Low
Shafee: Low is a secondary subscriber. That came to you as a shock
Shahrol: Yes
Shafee: Without TIA knowledge, he was making a lot of money under the nose of TIA
Shahrol: Under the nose of Ambank actually
Shafee: Not Ambank. Ambank knew this. Without TIA knowledge
Shahrol: Oh yes
Shafee: Ambank conspired basically with Low. Without TIA knowing
Shahrol: Correct
No idea where you're heading - witness tells Shafee3.49pm - Former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi's remark on not knowing where lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah's cross-examination is heading elicits laughter in the, mostly serious, proceedings
The 9th witness' humourous remark comes on the heels of Shafee having questioned the witness on various procedural aspects of Terengganu Investment Authority's (TIA) bid on the RM5 billion bond issuance
Shafee assures Shahrol that it is hoped the witness would bear with the questioning as the defence has a direction it is heading to
"Actually, I have no idea where you are going," Shahrol replies, causing chuckles from those present in court
Gov't acted responsibly in granting guarantee to TIA: ex-CEO3.20pm - A former CEO of 1MDB agrees that the federal government had acted responsibly in giving its guarantee to Terengganu Investment Authority's (TIA) RM5 billion bonds in 2009
For the record, TIA, the precursor of 1MDB, was initially owned by the state of Terengganu before it was taken over by the Minister of Finance Incorporated
Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi testifies this based on a letter which showed the state government agreeing to a series of conditions required by the federal government for the latter to gives its guarantee
Among the conditions agreed between the state and federal governments were that TIA cannot pass a resolution for its own winding up
The state government has to ensure that TIA is in financial condition that would not jeopardise its obligations under the Islamic medium-term notes; and for the state to inform the federal government any situation deemed to be prejudicial to TIA
Shafee: You will notice from these conditions, the federal government acted very responsibly. They say if you want a guarantee, you provide these considerations
Shahrol: Yes
Shafee: That was locked in between the federal government and state
Shahrol: Correct
Court resumes after lunch break3.07pm - Proceedings resume after the lunch break, with former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi seen in the witness stand ready to resume cross-examination by lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah
12.41pm - The court breaks early for lunch, and will resume at 2.30pm
Records don't show Najib benefited from RM5b bond issuance - Shahrol12.13pm - Former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi agrees with the defence that records did not show then finance minister Najib Abdul Razak benefited from the greenlight on government guarantee for Terengganu Investment Authority's RM5 billion bond issuance
The 9th witness agrees with lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah during cross-examination over the Finance Ministry memorandum recommending government guarantee for the bond issuance in 2009
Shafee is showing Shahrol the memorandum which was presented and agreed to in a cabinet meeting in 2009
The cabinet was headed by then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Shafee: There is no personal benefit to Najib as finance minister to do the memorandum for the cabinet
Shahrol: Based on records
I would appoint Shafee as lawyer if I set up a company, quips witness  11.50am - The court hears that 1MDB board of directors never had a lawyer on board after the one tasked for its setup left in 2009
Former CEO of the company, Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, testifies that most of 1MDB board members came from an accounting background
He says the only lawyer the board had was Christopher Lee, who was 1MDB's promoter director
According to Shahrol, Lee was only onboard for the setup of 1MDB until it got the "real" directors to come in
The lawyer officially resigned as a 1MDB director on March 23, 2009, which was the same day that Shahrol and Ismee Ismail were appointed to the board
Shahrol says they never had a lawyer on board since
Lead defence counsel then toys with a suggestion to Shahrol that it was a bad idea for 1MDB not to have a lawyer on board
To this, Shahrol quips that he would take Shafee (above) if he were to set up another company
"Next company we set up we would appoint you," he jokes
Jho Low 'very particular' on using expensive paper for letter to Najib10.40am - Wanted businessperson Jho Low was very particular on using expensive Conqueror paper for a letter to then finance minister Najib Abdul Razak in 2009, the court hears
Former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi confirms this during cross-examination by lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah
Shafee is referring to a letter from the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) to Najib dated March 27, 2009, to obtain approval for a guarantee for the TIA issuance of RM5 billion in bonds
"He (Low) was very particular on using Conqueror paper... expensive stuff," Shahrol says
Witness: Jho Low spoke about political tussle between T'ganu, gov't10am - Jho Low claimed that a representative of Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin had raised an issue about his involvement with Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) in 2009 due to a political tussle between the Terengganu state and the federal government, a witness tells the court
Former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi says this was the reason given by Low when asked about the matter
"It was explained by Low as a political fight between state and federal," Shahrol testifies under cross-examination by lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah
During the earlier part of his testimony, Shahrol had testified that the representative of the Terengganu ruler, who was also the Yang di-Pertuan Agong then, had queried Low's role in TIA during the company's meeting in June 2009
For the record, TIA was the precursor of 1MDB
'Jho Low may have chosen me due to my inexperience in finances'10am - The court hears from Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi that he might have been chosen by Jho Low to be 1MDB CEO due to his lack of experience in financial matters
Shahrol, who became the first 1MDB CEO and served from 2009 to 2013, says that he now sees that this could be a possibility given the hindsight of the situation
He testifies this under cross-examination by lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah
Shafee: Now that you took some time to explain to us that you have no experience in financial matters and that you have told this to Low, I want to ask you a very honest question. Do you think that was the reason why Low appointed you, so he could take you by the ear
Shahrol: At the time, I didn't think so
Shafee: (How about) now with the hindsight
Shahrol: There is a possibility
Earlier in his testimony, Shahrol tells the court that he had made it clear to Low that he had no experience in fundraising when the former offered him the post
However, according to Shahrol, he did not manage to inform this to the Terengganu ruler Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, who was then the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, when Low took him to meet with the sultan prior to Shahrol's appointment as 1MDB CEO in 2009
No opportunity to tell former Agong I was not qualified - Shahrol9.50am - Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi testifies that he had no opportunity to tell then Agong Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin (photo) that he was not qualified to be CEO of Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), the predecessor to 1MDB
The 9th witness tells lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah that his appointment was decided by people above him, namely the TIA board and stakeholders being the federal and state governments
Shahrol says he already much earlier informed wanted financier Jho Low that he did not have experience in fundraising before he was brought before the Agong in 2009
Before that, Shahrol was the managing director of Accenture
"I was called to the Istana, I sat down, was introduced to the Duli Yang Maha Mulia (Agong) and given the offer
"If I was not qualified for certain aspects, it was the people who appoint me that should have known that," Shahrol says
"I had zero opportunity (to tell Agong he had no experience). Tuanku was in a meeting when I was brought in (to the Istana) by Low
"Azlan (Zainol of TIA and later 1MDB director) was already there. I was introduced to Tuanku, Azlan said a few words," Shahrol adds
9.38am - Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak enters the dock as proceedings begin with the resumption of lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah's cross-examination of 9th witness, former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi
Further grilling of Shahrol promises gripping testimonyToday's cross-examination of former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi by Najib Abdul Razak's lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah promises more gripping testimony in the former prime minister's RM2.28 billion 1MDB trial
As hearing before Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah enters the 18th day this morning, veteran lawyer Shafee is expected to methodically question key witness Shahrol over every part of his testimony which was delivered over the course of six days of examination-in-chief conducted by lead deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Gopal Sri Ram
Yesterday's grilling of 9th witness Shahrol by Shafee had produced a multitude of oral evidence, such as that Jho Low kept a low profile over his involvement in 1MDB in order to avoid triggering jealousy among Umno members against the controversial businessperson's influence and access to then-premier and party president, Najib
Shahrol also testified, among others, that the failure of 1MDB's initial public offering in 2015 was caused by negative media attention raised by the then opposition, and that the idea for the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund's predecessor Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) was first mooted in Abu Dhabi when Low brought then Agong Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin there to look at the United Arab Emirate's sovereign wealth fund, Mubadala Development Company.    - Mkini

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