Najib 1mdb Trial Day 23 Ex Ceo Agrees Pm S Far Reaching Powers In 1mdb Not Uncommon




The criminal trial of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak involving the alleged abuse of power and money laundering of 1MDB funds enters its 23rd 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 HIGHLIGHTSEx-CEO agrees PM's far-reaching powers in 1MDB not uncommonProvision in Section 56 IRDA Act not same as Article 117 1MDB M&A - witnessJho Low proposed insertion of Article 117 in memorandum, court hears'Ultimate power' with 1MDB board despite amendments to memorandumEx-CEO agrees PM's far-reaching powers in 1MDB not uncommon11.25am - Former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi agrees with the defence that the prime minister's far-reaching powers, as seen in Article 117 of the sovereign wealth fund's Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A), is not uncommon
The ninth witness agrees with former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak's lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (above) during cross-examination
Shafee: This kind of far-reaching power is not uncommon
Shahrol: Yes
Shafee then makes reference to various Acts such as Section 3 (2) of the Petroleum Development Act 1974, which grants the prime minister power to issue a direction to Petronas from time to time
When Shafee submits that such powers are provided to the prime minister due to Petronas being a strategic company for the government and that 1MDB is also intended to be a strategic company, Shahrol agrees
Provision in Section 56 IRDA Act not same as Article 117 1MDB M&A - witness11.10am - During the cross-examination on former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah tells the witness to compare Section 56 of the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) Act and Article 117 of the 1MDB memorandum and article of association (1MDB M&A)
Shafee then puts to Shahrol that while the two provisions are not identical, they are more or less the same
It is understood that the defence is trying to establish whether Article 117 of 1MDB M&A is the first of its kind, and compare it to the IRDA Act, which was enacted in 2007
For the record, Article 117 of 1MDB M&A stipulates that amendments to the M&A as well as the appointment or removal of directors, and any financial commitments must be approved by the prime minister
The witness, however, testifies that he cannot see the two provisions as the same
"Honestly, I’m struggling to see that (similarities). Because here (Section 56 of IRDA Act) it says the prime minister can make changes (to provisions in the act) after consultation with state authority
"But here (Article 117 of 1MDB M&A) it says you cannot make changes to the M&A without approval from the PM."11.04am - Proceedings resume after the break to allow the defence to retrieve documents
10.20am - The court goes on a short stand down to allow the defence team to fetch a box of documents for their cross-examination on prosecution witness Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi
Jho Low proposed insertion of Article 117 in memorandum, court hears10.08am - Wanted businessperson Jho Low (below) proposed for the insertion of Article 117 into 1MDB's Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A), the court hears
Former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi testifies that Article 117 was similar to the sovereign wealth fund's predecessor Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) Article 9(a)
Shahrol says the amendment was also done on the advice of among others, lawyers Wong and Partners
"For the amendment, the context on replacing the "federal government" (in Article 9(a)) with "prime minister" (in Article 117) came from Jho (Low). This is what Najib wanted to make it unambiguous," Shahrol says
When Shafee asks whether the witness had ever clarified with Najib if this was what the then prime minister wanted, Shahrol admits he did not specifically do so
'Ultimate power' with 1MDB board despite amendments to memorandum10.02am - 1MDB still have the ultimate power to run the company despite the three amendments to its memorandum and articles of association (M&A), which included the insertion of Article 117, the court hears
Former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi agrees to this assertion from lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah during cross-examination
Shafee: You notice that and agree that despite the three amendments (to 1MDB's M&A), the board (was) still given the ultimate power to run the company without shareholder (approval)
Shahrol: Yes
Article 117 of 1MDB grants Najib wide powers as chairperson of the fund's board of advisors
9.36am - Najib Abdul Razak enters court as proceedings begin
9.30am - Accused Najib Abdul Razak enters the High Court and takes a seat at the front row of the public gallery to await proceedings to begin
The former prime minister is seen conferring with his lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah
Also seen in court are lead DPP Gopal Sri Ram and other members of the defence team, as well as former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, who is sitting in the witness box
Najib Abdul Razak's defence team will resume their cross-examination of the ninth prosecution witness, former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi on the 23rd day of the former prime minister's RM2.28 billion 1MDB trial today
Lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is set to continue questioning Shahrol over the alleged telephone call by Najib to the sovereign wealth fund's then chairperson, Mohd Bakke Salleh, in the middle of a board meeting on Sept 26, 2009, among other contentious issues linked to the case
Yesterday, during proceedings before Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah, Shafee had put some questions to Shahrol over the purported telephone call and at the same time had indicated to the court that the defence will grill Shahrol in more depth about it today
Star witness Shahrol, in his 270-page witness statement, had earlier testified that Najib called Mohd Bakke during the 1MDB board meeting, which was held to decide whether 1MDB should proceed with a proposed joint-venture with PetroSaudi International
Yesterday, the witness testified that Najib's telephone call at that point in time acted to reassure doubts expressed by certain members of the 1MDB board over the proposed deal in which wanted businessperson Jho Low is allegedly involved in.  - Mkini

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