Najib obtained Cabinet approval before approving the letter of support for the US$3 billion bond

Najib obtained Cabinet approval before approving the letter of support for the US$3 billion bond

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here was told today that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had obtained unanimous approval from Cabinet ministers before approving the letter of support for the issuance of bonds totaling US$3 billion by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)’s subsidiary, 1MDB Global Investment Berhad (1MDB GIL), on March 14, 2013.

Senior Officer of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Nur Aida Ariffin, 37, agreed with the proposal of Najib’s lawyer, Wan Azwan Aiman Wan Fakhruddin, that Najib, as the Finance Minister at that time, had obtained approval from Cabinet ministers after the memorandum regarding the letter of support was presented during the Cabinet Meeting on March 13, 2013.

The 49th prosecution witness also agreed with Wan Azwan Aiman’s proposal that, when presenting the said memo, Najib was only performing his duties as the Finance Minister, and he did not have any personal interest in the issuance of the bonds. Wan Azwan Aiman: Datuk Seri Najib’s action in stating the risks of issuing these bonds during the MJM shows that he had no interest in the matter, and in fact, the risks disclosed might have caused Cabinet members to disagree with issuing the letter of support.

Nur Aida: Disagree.

Wan Azwan Aiman: If Datuk Seri Najib had an interest in the issuance of these bonds, he should have successfully obtained an amount twice as large (US$6 billion) as the stated bond amount (US$3 billion).

Nur Aida: Disagree.

Previously, in November 2021, former Non-Executive Director of 1MDB Tan Sri Ismee Ismail, when testifying in the same trial, also stated that the Malaysian government was aware that 1MDB GIL would issue bonds totaling US$3 billion, which would be fully repaid by 2023.

Ismee said the letter of support explained that if the borrower (1MDB GIL) failed to pay or there was a shortfall in paying this debt, 1MDB would provide financial assistance to fulfill the responsibility of paying the debt.

“Furthermore, if 1MDB fails to pay the debt in question, the Malaysian government will take on that responsibility to finance 1MDB in paying the debt or directly pay off the debt until it is settled,” he said while testifying as the 13th prosecution witness.

Najib, 70, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totaling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The trial before Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on May 2.


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