Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak would have only gotten a relative sum amounting to “peanuts” if he had received US$30 million (RM90,899,927.28 million at the time of the charge) from multi-billion ringgit bonds raised by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), in comparison to funds amounting to US$577 million diverted from 1MDB bonds to fugitive Low Taek Jho and a fake Aabar entity, Najib’s lawyer suggested today.
Najib’s lead defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said this while cross-examining the 12th prosecution witness Azmi Tahir.
Azmi, a former chief financial officer of 1MDB, was testifying in Najib’s power abuse and money laundering trial involving the alleged misappropriation of more than RM2 billion of 1MDB funds.
Shafee was going through the transactions that followed after 1MDB subsidiary 1MDB Energy Limited (1MEL) took on debt via the issuance of a US$1.75 billion bond in May 2012 in order to fund the purchase of an independent power producer.
Shafee listed various transactions in a chart he showed to Azmi, including how US$907.5 million of the US$1.75 billion bond was paid out on May 22, 2012 to 1MEL, and that a sum of close to US$577 million was on the same day then transferred to a British Virgin Islands company known as Aabar Investments PJS Limited — now known to be a fake entity that had a strikingly similar name to the actual company Aabar Investments PJS.
Wow! For the first time in the seven years it has taken (almost to the day) to get this far in holding Malaysia’s crook ex-Prime Minister to account he (or at least his counsel) has admitted that yes he did filch from the fund.
But…. according to Mr Shafee (who is himself waiting to be tried for filching money also) Najib should be given credit for only taking $30 million out of a trail that saw $577 million stolen in total from the first bond issue the fund took out through Abu Dhabi using Goldman Sachs.
What a modest man his client turns out to be… by comparison, is the argument with which Shafee seeks to beguile the court and melt the hearts of the Malaysian people and the world. Just a poxy $30 million when in his position he could have taken so much more.
Except, Najib did take a whole lot more as everyone knows full well and as will be made perfectly clear at later stages of the trial when the full picture of larceny is dissected. Remember the $681 million that went into Najib’s account just two days after the third and final bond was raised – that came from 1MDB and from that bond issue.
What’s more other sums were pouring into the same KL account – $170 million from Julius Baer in Hong Kong was one – that took the PM’s personal war chest to over a billion dollars in advance of GE 13 before he later shipped the majority back out of the country and into a swathe of hiding places round the globe.
And what about the half billion that went to his wife’s diamond and jewellery habit? Does that not count? And the quarter of a million to his step son’s movies and who really owned that yacht?
In short, what an idiot admission to have finally made after years of claiming first no money had disappeared from the fund, then that it had all been the scheme of Jho Low!