Najib 1mdb Trial Day 4 Defence Seeks More Time Before Cross Examining Amhari




The criminal trial of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak involving the alleged abuse of power and laundering of 1MDB funds enters its fourth day 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 RM2.28b, 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 seeks more time before cross-examining AmhariJho Low would immediately follow up on Najib's instructions - Amhari'Najib gave Jho Low mandate to plan, carry out 1MDB bailout'Najib visited China in Nov 2016 to secure trade and bond agreements'Jho Low associate appointed secretary for China-backed projects'Support for Najib discussed during 2016 meeting with ChinaECRL, MPP, and TSGP projects were for bailing out 1MDB - AmhariChina-M'sia investment talks meant as bailout for 1MDB - witnessWitness fights back tears when speaking about late bossNajib ordered aide to negotiate with Abu Dhabi over 1MDB debtsJho Low ordered Najib's aides to work closely with 1MDB investigatorsArul Kanda and Jho Low clashed over 1MDB rationalisation planJho Low prepared talking points to deny his involvementJho Low planned to sell all 1MDB assets to cover debts - witnessNo PMO officer dared to question Najib regarding source of fundsAzlin advised me not to spend money in our overseas accounts - AmhariAmhari: We had to follow Jho Low's order out of fear for our safetyJho Low ordered us to open overseas bank accounts as 'standby' - witnessNajib’s ex-aide identifies document on 1MDB-PSI cooperationThank you for following Malaysiakini's live report5.20pm - Thank you for following our live report today

Defence seeks more time before cross-examining Amhari3.10pm - The prosecution wraps up examination-in-chief on former special officer to Najib Abdul Razak Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin
Following this, lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (photo) requests for today's trial to be adjourned to tomorrow morning
He says the defence will need to consult Najib first before cross-examining the witness
Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah allows the request and adjourns the hearing to 9.30am tomorrow
Jho Low would immediately follow up on Najib's instructions - Amhari3.06pm - Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin says he believes fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho received a mandate from Najib Abdul Razak because he immediately followed up on every instruction received from the former premier
Amhari, Najib's former special officer, was asked by deputy public prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram why he came to such a conclusion in his witness statement, which he read in court earlier today
"This is because upon receiving instructions directly from Najib, immediately there were follow-ups from Low," he tells the court
Earlier, Amhari testified that he believed Najib was in the know of Low's plans for the 1MDB bailout process
"Generally, I can draw a conclusion based on the situation and documents prepared by Low. "I believe that Najib was in the know, and had given the mandate to Low to plan and manage bailout efforts on debts and losses incurred by 1MDB and SRC International," the witness said
'Najib gave Jho Low mandate to plan, carry out 1MDB bailout'2.50pm - A former aide to Najib Abdul Razak testifies that the former premier was in the know of fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho's plans for the 1MDB bailout process
Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin (photo) says he believed Najib had given Low the mandate to execute the bailout for 1MDB and its former subsidiary SRC International
This, Amhari adds, is his own conclusion, based on circumstances and documents prepared by Low on the matter
"Generally, I can draw a conclusion based on the situation and documents prepared by Low. "I believe that Najib was in the know and had given the mandate to Low to plan and manage bailout efforts on debts and losses incurred by 1MDB and SRC International," he says
Najib visited China in 2016 to secure trade and bond agreements2.45pm - Najib Abdul Razak's visit to China in November 2016 was to secure several agreements with the country and its companies, according to a former aide
Amhari Effendi Nazaruddin says that the former premier's visit had three aims:A full engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning agreement between China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) with ECRL Sdn Bhd, and China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Co Ltd (CPP) with Suria Strategic Energy Resources Sdn Bhd (SSER).A full funding agreement between the Exim Bank of China and ECRL, and between the bank and SSER.A full Renminbi Bond Underwriting Agreement between China and ECRL, and between SSER and a China party.Amhari says this when identifying and confirming details of a document titled 'Private and Highly Confidential (Not For Circulation)' dated Sept 22, 2016
The witness tells the court that he received the document from former SRC International director Terence Geh during a meeting at the Prime Minister's Office
'Jho Low associate appointed secretary for China-backed projects'2.37pm - Terence Geh, an associate of fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho, was made the secretary for three China-backed projects – the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP), and Multi-Product Pipeline (MPP) – testifies Najib Abdul Razak's former special officer
Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin says that Najib, in a 2017 meeting, agreed with Low's information note that Geh be made the secretary for the three projects
"This means he (Geh) was the main player and Low's staunch supporter in Malaysia to ensure the project agreement was signed," the witness tells deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib during examination-in-chief
Proceedings resume2.32pm - Proceedings resume
12.50pm - The court breaks for lunch. Support for Najib discussed during 2016 meeting with China 12.45pm - The court hears from a former aide to Najib Abdul Razak that a meeting held with China's State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (Sasac) in 2016 discussed, among others, trade cooperations between Malaysia and China
Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin says that among other key issues discussed during the June 28, 2016 meeting in China was the need for solid support for Najib to ensure stability and prosperity in the region
He testifies this when identifying and confirming details in a brief report on the meeting, which Amhari says he received from 1MDB-linked fugitive Low Taek Jho. Amhari adds that he received the report upon his return to Malaysia after attending meetings with Sasac on June 28 and Abu Dhabi representatives on June 30, 2016
ECRL, MPP, and TSGP projects were for bailing out 1MDB - Amhari12.40pm - The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), Multi-Product Pipeline (MPP), and Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP) projects were meant to bail out 1MDB
Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, former aide to Najib Abdul Razak, says this during the examination-in-chief
He is referring to a document titled 'Action Point: China-Malaysia Economic Programme' that was emailed to Amhari by wanted financier Low Taek Jho
Amhari says the email was meant to ensure Najib gives Terence Geh, an associate of Low, the role of coordinator for the 1MDB and SRC International debt resolution programme linked to Malaysia-China investment talks
The witness says the document suggests projects that can bail out 1MDB
"The document is a note on information and talking points to update the status of the project, as well as follow up work on the three projects, which are TSGP, MPP, and ECRL," he says
China-M'sia investment talks meant as bailout for 1MDB - witness12.25pm - Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak directed his then-special officer Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin to be involved in China-Malaysia investment talks in order to bail out 1MDB
The eighth witness says this during examination-in-chief by the prosecution
"As shown by (fugitive businessperson) Low Taek Jho through talking points and action plan to me, the agreement and venture (between Malaysia and China) are meant to be an investment that would help repay 1MDB debts (bailout) such as the debt to the International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic)
"I can also confirm that my visit to China (in 2016) was only known by Low and Najib," Amhari says
Witness fights back tears when speaking about late boss12.20pm - Former special officer to Najib Abdul Razak, Amhari Effendi Nazaruddin, struggles to hold back tears when telling the court about how he had to shoulder bigger responsibilities at the Prime Minister's Office following the death of his superior Azlin Alias
Amhari says he had a hard time after the 2015 passing of Azlin, who was Najib's chief private secretary, as he had to take over special assignments which involved top secrets
He testifies that he even thought of resigning due to work pressure, citing Najib's orders as heavy burdens
Among the orders were to go to China to handle bilateral cooperation talks
Najib ordered aide to negotiate with Abu Dhabi over 1MDB debts12.15pm - After a short break, the hearing resumes with witness Amhari Effendi Nazaruddin testifying about his role in negotiating with Abu Dhabi in 2016 to prevent it from bringing Malaysia to the International Arbitration Court over issues regarding 1MDB debt payments to the International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic). Amhari, who was a special officer to Najib Abdul Razak, says that during a meeting at Najib's residence, the then-prime minister ordered him to meet Mubadala CEO Khaldoon Mubarak in Abu Dhabi to negotiate the matter
"Najib explained that if Abu Dhabi dragged Malaysia to the international court for failure to pay bond debts guaranteed by Ipic, it would affect bilateral ties between the countries, and also pose political risks in the next general election. "At that time, the 1MDB issue was still a hot topic worldwide," he testifies
According to the witness, after he left Najib's residence, he received a BlackBerry message from Low Taek Jho, who told him that Khaldoon was expecting someone from Malaysia to contact him and provided him with the man's email address
Amhari says that Low had also told him that he would send Amhari talking points for his meeting with Khaldoon
Jho Low ordered Najib's aides to work closely with 1MDB investigators11.35am - The court hears from Amhari Effendi Nazaruddin that Low Taek Jho had in 2015 ordered him and the late Azlin Alias to work closely with law enforcement agencies investigating 1MDB
Amhari, who was then a special officer to Najib Abdul Razak, says that Low wanted them to get the authorities to avoid negative perception on 1MDB's rationalisation plan
Azlin was Najib's chief private secretary and also Amhari's superior
Arul Kanda and Jho Low clashed over 1MDB rationalisation plan11.22am - Then-1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy (photo) and wanted businessperson Low Taek Jho clashed over the proposed rationalisation plan for 1MDB
Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak's former special officer Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin says this during examination-in-chief by the prosecution
The eighth witness says that this was the rationale behind an email titled 'Urgent: Rationalisation Plan 1MDB' dated April 22, 2015, which Low asked him to forward to Najib
"This email was sent as Arul Kanda, who was 1MDB CEO at the time, has different plans on 1MDB rationalisation
"Low needed Najib to tell Arul Kanda to follow his (Low) suggestion and if Arul Kanda still disagreed, Najib then should tell the CEO to resolve the differences in opinion with Low and myself," Amhari says
Jho Low prepared talking points to deny his involvement11.18am - The court hears from a witness that 1MDB-linked businessperson Low Taek Jho was involved in a damage control attempt and prepared a set of talking points, including denial of his involvement with the state investment fund
Former special officer to Najib Abdul Razak, Amhari Effendi Nazaruddin, testifies that Low prepared the document titled ‘Q&A: 1MDB/Yayasan' which discussed issues surrounding 1MDB sometime in the late 2014 or early 2015
"In this document, it also showed that Low tried to insert answers explaining his role in 1MDB
"At paragraph seven of the document, it was stressed that  Low had no role in 1MDB, although in reality, he was secretly the mastermind for 1MDB."Amhari says paragraph eight of the document includes an example of an answer to show that 1MDB was a successful project
Jho Low planned to sell all 1MDB assets to cover debts - witness11.13am - The court hears that 1MDB-linked businessperson Low Taek Jho made a plan for 1MDB rationalisation sometime in the late 2014 or 2015
Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin (photo), a former special officer to then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, says that Low had made the plan to settle all 1MDB debts
"As the situation was not good for 1MDB then, the plan was to sell all its assets and liabilities to cover all its debts
"An example is the Bandar Malaysia project, where the plan was to transfer the ownership of Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd to a company called Sg Besi Development Sdn Bhd, which would be set up to buy Bandar Malaysia," the witness testifies
Amhari says that the document detailing the plans was prepared by Low, and he had received it either by email or from the late Azlin Alias (then Najib's chief private secretary), or during their meeting with Low at Prince Hotel
No PMO officer dared to question Najib regarding source of funds10.50am - The court hears from former special officer to Najib Abdul Razak, Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin that no one in the Prime Minister's Office would dare to ask the then-premier on the source of funds that he received
He says that this was because such action might be perceived as not having confidence in Najib's credibility
"I believe that there were funds that came from Low Taek Jho because before the 13th General Election, he told me and Azlin (Alias) on funds for the purpose of winning votes in Penang for the election
"However, Low had never explained how he got the funds
"Until today, I do not know the status of the monies in the account as it is still under Low’s control," says Amhari
He was referring to the bank accounts that he opened in Switzerland and Bangkok. The accounts were opened under Amhari's name but were allegedly operated by Low
Azlin advised me not to spend money in our overseas accounts - Amhari 10.45am - Chief private secretary to Najib Abdul Razak, the late Azlin Alias (photo) had once advised his subordinate not to use monies put in their overseas bank accounts, which they opened under the order of Low Taek Jho
According to Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, his boss gave the advice after a meeting with Low, saying that the money is not theirs to spend
"Azlin also advised me to follow orders and just play along." Amhari tells the court that they only knew about matters related to the accounts when Low spoke to him and Azlin about them without giving them any chance to ask any further questions
Amhari: We had to follow Jho Low's orders out of fear for our safety10.40am - Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin says that he and the late Azlin Alias were assured by Low Taek Jho that they would be protected by Najib Abdul Razak
According to the witness, Low told them this when they were worried about follow his order to open bank accounts overseas. This happened in 2012 when both Amhari and Azlin were working for Najib as special officer and chief private secretary, respectively. Amhari testifies that he and Azlin were worried as Low had told them their accounts might be used for political purposes and that he would be running the accounts. "But Low gave us the assurance that we should not worry, and to trust him, he even told us that ‘boss will take care'. "The boss he was referring to was Najib." He says that both of them did not give any decision to Low, but he had expected they would have to eventually agree anyway or risk the safety of their families, career and self
According to Amhari, Azlin had later agreed to the opening of overseas accounts in their names after another secret meeting with Low, and Amhari had to follow Azlin's decision. "After Low left, Azlin said to me that we had no choice but to follow Low's order because if we didn’t, we might lose our jobs. "He said it could also potentially pose harm to our families and ourselves as we already knew the plan." Amhari says that Low had then arranged for the account opening procedures, and took them to Singapore where they opened the accounts under Low's "manipulation". They were helped by a BSI Bank officer called Yvonne and another BSI Bank officer whose name Amhari could not recall
Jho Low ordered us to open overseas bank accounts as 'standby' - witness10.34am - The court hears from Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin that 1MDB-linked businessperson Low Taek Jho (photo) had in 2012 ordered him and his boss Azlin Alias to open personal bank accounts overseas
At that time, Amhari was still a special officer to Najib Abdul Razak, while Azlin was the former premier's chief private secretary
He says that Low had told them then that he had received "blessing" to give the order, and both Amhari and Azlin have to open the bank accounts "just in case and standby."According to the witness, both Azlin and himself understood then that the blessing that Low meant was a green light from Najib
Najib’s ex-aide identifies document on 1MDB-PSI cooperation10.24am - The hearing starts with eighth prosecution witness, Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, testifying about a document tendered in court concerning 1MDB's cooperation with PetroSaudi Internationa
According to Amhari, a former aide to Najib Abdul Razak, the document explains the authenticity of the PSI company owned by Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah's son Prince Turki
He tells the court that the document stresses the benefits of the investment to Malaysia, and contains five supporting letters to show that the company is legitimate
"This document is in my possession because Azlin (Alias) had possibly handed them to me after our six-eyed meeting, and this is my copy that I did not dispose of," he testifies
Amhari is referring to the late Azlin Alias, former chief private secretary to Najib, and their meeting with 1MDB-linked businessperson Low Taek Jho
The witness tells the court, however, that he is unable to explain the content of the documents in detail, as 1MDB matters were usually discussed between Low and Azlin, and he was only there to accompany the latter
He also says that he was confident that the documents originated from Low
Najib enters the dock10.22am - Accused Najib Abdul Razak enters the dock. Proceedings resume with examination-in-chief of Najib Abdul Razak's former special officer Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin
9.42am - Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah is presiding over several case management of 1MDB forfeiture suits
After these matters are dispensed with, Sequerah will then preside over Najib Abdul Razak's RM2.28 billion 1MDB trial
The former prime minister is seen waiting outside the court, and will enter after the 1MDB forfeiture suit case managements are dispensed with and just before his trial resumes
The fourth day of former premier Najib Abdul Razak's RM2.28 billion 1MDB trial today promises more potentially explosive revelations, courtesy of his former aide Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin
Yesterday, during his first day on the witness stand, the eighth prosecution witness delivered one gripping revelation after another
He recounted how in early 2015 Najib's then-private secretary Azlin Alias appeared so stressed over the 1MDB issue that he slammed a file on a table in his office after a meeting with his boss, and shouted "1MDB money lah, bro!"Amhari also testified that only Najib and his "unofficial adviser" – Low Taek Jho – had the "full picture" on 1MDB-related manoeuvring at the time, with the witness likening the fugitive financier as a "master manipulator."With the witness only having stopped at paragraph 103 of his written witness statement yesterday, Amhari is expected to deliver more bombshells during examination-in-chief, which will resume before Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah
Amhari is slightly past the halfway point of his written witness statement, and may be able to wrap up the remainder today. - Mkini

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