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Najib didn’t meet Saudi prince through diplomatic channels, court told
Published on: Friday, January 05, 2024
By: FMT, Ho Kit Yen
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Najib didn’t meet Saudi prince through diplomatic channels, court told
The High Court heard that Najib Razak and Jho Low discussed a business collaboration between the Saudi and Malaysian governments in a private meeting on board a yacht.
Kuala Lumpur: The investigating officer in Najib Razak’s 1MDB case told the High Court today that a 2009 meeting the former prime minister and his family had with a Saudi prince and several others was not arranged through diplomatic channels.

Nur Aida Arifin, from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, told the court that no government officers had attended the meeting, held on board a yacht known as “RM Elegance”.

“It did not follow proper channels, and it caused significant losses to Malaysia because the country had to bear 1MDB loans by serving as a guarantor.

“As prime minister, he (Najib) should have known that government-to-government discussions need to go through proper diplomatic channels, not informal discussions on a yacht,” she said.

Aida said her investigations showed that Najib and his family members had joined one Prince Turki and PetroSaudi International director Tarek Obaid for a drink.

She said fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, known as Jho Low, also attended the meeting.

“There were also talks about a business collaboration between the Saudi and Malaysian governments (during the meeting),” said Aida.

Shortly after the meeting, Aida said Prince Turki sent Najib a letter, expressing the Saudi government’s intention to form a joint venture company.

1MDB subsequently entered into a joint venture with PSI, pursuant to which 1MDB was obliged to invest US$1 billion by depositing the funds into a joint venture account.

However, only US$300 million was moved into the 1MDB-PSI joint venture account. The remaining US$700 million was remitted to Good Star Limited, a company controlled by Low.

Najib is standing trial for 25 counts of money laundering and abuse of power charges over alleged 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.28 billion deposited in his AmBank accounts between February 2011 and December 2014.

The hearing continues before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

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