KUALA LUMPUR: A former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MBD) chief executive officer (CEO) told the High Court here today that he was not surprised when the Terengganu Palace queried about the character of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, in matters of the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), later renamed 1MDB.
Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, 49 (pix), said he was not surprised when the palace raised the matter at a meeting held on June 30, 2009, because Jho Low had already informed him to expect this.
The ninth prosecution witness was being cross-examined by Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the defence counsel for Najib on the 20th day of the former premier’s trial involving 1MDB funds.
During previous proceedings, the court heard that there were concerns raised in 2009 that Jho Low had been misrepresenting himself as an advisor to the then Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin.
Muhammad Shafee: When the representatives of the palace raised the issue, you were there?
Shahrol Azral: Yes
Muhammad Shafee: Did you explain to them?
Shahrol Azral: No, because it was not surprising to me that the Terengganu side would call to question … before the meeting Jho Low had already informed me to expect something like this.
Muhammad Shafee: When Jho Low told you that, you did not think to find out because you were the CEO?
Shahrol Azral: I saw this as a shareholders’ matter to be resolved between the shareholders. I was confident that Jho Low was representing one of the special shareholders who was Datuk Seri Najib, at that time.
Muhammad Shafee: So, at the time you thought he was representing the YDPA for Terengganu and Najib for the federal government?
Shahrol Azral: No, Jho Low was representing Najib.
Najib, 66, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.
The trial before High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues Monday. — Bernama