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Thursday, June 23, 2022

Najib told me not to interfere in 1MDB, says ex-minister


Former second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said Najib Razak had the decision-making power in 1MDB. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Former second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah told the High Court in Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial today the former prime minister had the “decision-making power” in the company.

He said Najib told him not to “interfere anymore in 1MDB” some time in 2010 when he raised the issue of a US$700 million payment to Good Star Limited, a firm that had no business links to 1MDB.

It was later revealed that Good Star was controlled by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low.

“I also told him before (the issue of the US$700 million payment) that 1MDB should not have entered into the joint venture with PSI (PetroSaudi International Ltd) in 2009 as there was no oil well yet and we would have lost money.

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“But he (Najib) told me not to interfere. It showed that the power was with him,” he said when re-examined by ad hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram.

Earlier, Sri Ram had asked him whether Najib “made it clear” that he had control over 1MDB.

Sri Ram: As the second finance minister, did you have any decision-making authority in 1MDB?

Husni: No.

Yesterday, Husni had told the court that Najib kept quiet over the US$700 million transfer to Good Star after he asked him why the money was not paid directly to PSI.

1MDB had entered into a joint venture with PSI in 2009, under which it needed to fork out US$1 billion. It was supposed to have been deposited into the 1MDB-PSI joint venture account, but only US$300 million was moved into that account.

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

The hearing before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues. - FMT

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