Najib agreed to 1MDB borrowing RM3b from Socso to lend to PetroSaudi



NAJIB TRIAL | The High Court was told today that Najib Abdul Razak agreed to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) applying for a RM3 billion loan from the Social Security Organisation (Socso) to lend to PetroSaudi International Limited (PSI).

Former 1MDB chief executive officer Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi (above), 49, while reading his witness statement, however, said he had never discussed the matter with Najib at the time.

He said Najib had agreed to 1MDB lending US$750 million to PSI, subject to 1MDB getting a RM3 billion loan from Socso.

Shahrol Azral said this in reference to the minutes of the meeting with the chairman of the board of advisors, dated March 30, 2011, during examination by senior deputy public prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram at the trial of the former prime minister’s case involving 1MDB.

Shahrol Azral said, in the minutes Najib had also agreed to focus on the Maybourne Hotel Group projects (a London-based hotel takeover bid by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho (also known as Jho Low), SRC International Sdn Bhd and Kuala Lumpur International Financial District, now known as TRX.

“I confirm that I did not discuss (the matter) with Najib at that time. The minutes of the meeting were prepared by Jho Low and signed by Najib.

“The minutes of the meeting were also given to me by Jho Low (below), but I do not remember when the minutes were handed out,” he said, noting that he signed the minutes and kept them.

The ninth prosecution witness said he also informed the 1MDB board of directors at a meeting on April 4, 2011 that Najib had agreed to 1MDB increasing investments with PSI.

“I wish to mention that the proposed Maybourne Hotel Group project was never planned or discussed by the 1MDB board of directors, and I believe that Jho Low just wanted to use the 1MDB name for the hotel bid,” he explained.

Najib, 66, faces four counts of using his position to obtain RM2.3 billion in 1MDB funds and 21 counts of money laundering involving the same amount.

The Pekan Member of Parliament has been charged with four counts of corruption at AmIslamic Bank Berhad’s Jalan Raja Chulan branch in Bukit Ceylon, Kuala Lumpour, between Feb 24, 2011 and Dec 19, 2014.

While for the 21 money laundering charges, Najib is alleged to have committed the offences at the same bank between March 22, 2013, and Aug 30, 2013.

The hearing is before Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

- Bernama