KUALA LUMPUR – Due to his inconsistent statements, the 8th witness of the RM2.3 billion 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) trial, Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazrauddin was bombarded with questions by defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.
Shafee questioned the former special aide to Najib on his contradicting and inconsistent statements on a similar issue.
“Why is it there inconsistency in your written statement in paragraph 17 and 25? On both of Datuk Azlin Alias and your actions about checking with Datuk Najib first upon receiving orders from Jho Low?
“Your answers such as ’sometimes’, ‘when needed’, which is true? Why are your answers not consistent? I am only asking you about what you have written, Amhari,” Shafee questioned the witness.
Amhari, seemed speechless at times and requested the same question to be repeated several times while asking which part of his statement was inconsistent.
At times, Amhari also took extremely long time to answer and Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah had to repeat Shafee’s question to Amhari.
Shafee also asked Amhari about his allegations that Jho Low was appointed by Najib as his unofficial advisor in private.
Then, Shafee also suggested that Amhari could not provide a consistent answer as some of the things he said was untrue. Nevertheless, Najib’s former special aide denied the allegations.
Shafee: You said that he was the unofficial advisor. Was there any letter to prove it?
Amhari: I’m not sure. I don’t think so.
Shafee: In private to Najib? Was there any evidence that the appointment was made in private?
Amhari: No, I meant that he’s someone close, when I said, unofficial advisor, it meant that there was no letter.
Shafee: So, there was no letter then?
Shafee: How about the meaning of appointment in private?
Amhari: Jho Low is one of the people who are close and can advise him, it was done in private as not many people knew about it.
Shafee: But this is what you said, there is no need to explain a new thing.
Amhari: Unofficial appointment has no letter. Private as it was unofficial. The discussions were confidential. Jho Low is someone who can get close to and discuss things with Najib without other people knowing. That is confidential.
Shafee: But many people knew about it too, including the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
Amhari: That’s not true. Not many people knew about it. Only senior officers knew about Jho Low and the discussions.
Shafee: Your statement is not right. You said that as if Jho Low was appointed in private. Do you agree that as the Prime Minister, he can appoint anyone he wants in private?
Shafee: Please explain ’mastermind’. There are many interpretations to that.
Amhari: Mastermind in the context of planning and arranging for certain things. Sometimes, it could be strategies.
Shafee: You mean, a planner?
Shafee: Are you saying that Jho Low is the political mastermind for Najib?
Amhari: I’ve heard that from Jho Low himself.
Shafee: That is what I want to hear from you. You heard things like political mastermind, G to G, investment planner and everything from Jho Low himself? Had the Prime Minister told you about that himself?
Shafee: I have to ask you again as you’ve been talking about a lot of things according to your own perception. Now, your statement is different. For example, this:
‘I have never questioned the orders but sometimes, when it is needed, Datuk Azlin or I will ask Najib about those instructions.’
Amhari: Which is this?
Shafee: Never mind. Let’s go back to this morning’s statement, which is contradicting to your witness statement earlier. Paragraph 17 and 25 in your written witness statement.
‘I was sure that those orders, most of them were from Najib and he has agreed to them. Most of the time, we will double check with Najib on Jho Low’s orders.’
This seemed different from what you said during the cross-examination just now.
Was the opening of BSI Switzerland account a small matter in your opinion? Under your own name, under certain company’s name in Singapore. Was that such a small matter that you need to inform Najib after receiving the instructions from Jho Low?
Amhari however, went speechless before answering ‘no comment.’
Shafee: When you gave your statement to the MACC. Both you and Azlin admitted that you will ‘check with PM Najib on Jho Low’s order?’
Amhari: Yes, that is right.
Shafee: Your answers are very inconsistent. I suggest that you are actually not answering them honestly and want to trap my client. Therefore, you were given the reward of US$1 million. That was US$800,000 and then, US$200,000 by Jho Low, which you said was a loan.
Amhari: I don’t agree.
The court was adjourned and the trial will resume tomorrow at 9.30 am. -MalaysiaGazette