KUALA LUMPUR – The 8th witness of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) trial involving the misappropriation of RM2.3 billion is expected to reveal more shocking details about fugitive businessman, Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.
The high profile trial which entered its fourth day sees former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak being slapped with 21 money laundering and four counts of power abuse for receiving RM2.3 billion of 1MDB funds.
The witness, who was also the special aide to Najib, Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin had started giving his written testimony yesterday revealed the extraordinary powers held by Jho Low, whom he labelled as the ‘unofficial advisor’ to Najib.
Yesterday, Amhari disclosed that besides managing the company, Jho Low also carried out special behind the scene tasks unknown to the public which involved plenty of international programmes, work visits, business proposals and charity policies.
Amhari, who used to work at the Central Bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) before being loaned to the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said that Jho Low was also the mastermind of investment deals, government (G to G) negotiations and acted as Najib’s political advisor. He also had controls over the funds obtained by the former Prime Minister.
“I needed to carry out Jho Low’s order as I believed that he has obtained the prior approval from Najib.
“I have never questioned those orders. However, when it was needed, Allahyarham Datuk Azlin Alias, who was the then Chief Private Secretary to Najib or I will double check the instructions with Najib.
“Usually, Najib is aware of the orders given by Jho Low as they meet at night at the Prince Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
“When asked, Najib also asked us to follow those orders,” he said while reading out his testimony while being examined by Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib yesterday.
Amhari, one of the important witnesses to the 1MDB case also revealed that the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) was established on Najib’s order as it was the baby project of the former Prime Minister. However, the idea was given by Jho Low.
“I received a Black Berry Messenger (BBM) message from Jho Low at the end of 2008 which stated, ‘I’ve got approval or blessing from Datuk Seri Najib for you to join meeting for TIA’.
“I was told to join the meeting on the setting up of TIA and to represent Najib who was unable to attend the meeting. Najib was the then Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister.
“I checked with Najib and he verified the order on me attending the meeting. I also asked Datuk Seri Ab Aziz Kassim, the then Chief Private Secretary to Najib for his advice. He advised me to follow the orders given by Najib,” he said.
The trial resumes today at 9.15 am with Amhari continuing to read his written testimony. -MalaysiaGazette