GENERAL

NAJIB HAS THE POWER TO CREATE INSTABILITY IN MY LIFE - WITNESS

19/09/2019 08:42 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 (Bernama) -- A former special officer to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak told the High Court today that as the nation's then number one man, Najib had the power to create instability in his life.

Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, 43, said although his former boss had never personally threatened him, he felt as if he was ‘stuck in the middle’ because Najib, as the prime minister at that time, had the influence and full support to create chaos in his life.

The 8th prosecution witness said this during re-examination by lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram on the 10th day of the former premier's 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s trial (1MDB).

“Either route, whichever way I take, there will be threats. What I need to do is to go back to my religion. Tell the truth and hoping that would save me,” the witness affirmed.

Questioned by Sri Ram on where the threats come from, the witness said it could be from any stakeholders in this trial, regardless of whoever and whichever group they are. 

Sri Ram: One of the stakeholders is the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. Do you include them?

Amhari Efendi: No. 

Sri Ram then pressed further for the witness to explain the other stakeholders he meant but the witness appeared hesitant. 

Sri Ram: Who are the other stakeholders?

Amhari Efendi: Whether they… (the witness’s voice trailed off)

Sri Ram: Don't be afraid. Nobody is going to touch you here.

Amhari Efendi: Either the current ruling government or the previous ruling government.

Sri Ram: When you were asked about threats, you said, "with respect to my former boss". What did you mean by that?

Amhari Efendi: There is no personal threat by Najib, definitely not, but as a prime minister... a prime minister would have all the necessary power to at least create some instability. I'm being very polite here. 

Sri Ram: Instability in what?

Amhari Efendi: In my livelihood, my job.

Sri Ram: And by “prime minister”, who are you referring to? 

Amhari Efendi: Najib.

Sri Ram: He is the accused, you have to get used to the word accused.

Sri Ram then continued to ask whether Amhari Efendi had knowledge on whether the former premier has ever been warned about the fugitive businessman, Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.

Sri Ram: From your experience working with the accused as the prime minister, did he receive regular briefings from the intelligence?

Amhari Efendi: I’m not sure how often but I am sure he would (receive information from the intelligence).

Sri Ram: Are you aware of an article citing someone had warned the accused (about Jho Low)?

Amhari Efendi: No, I am not aware. 

The witness, however, said that based on his own experience, there were two instances where he could say Najib has been warned but kept quiet about it.

“From my experience, the former chief executive officer of 1MDB, Arul Kanda, had questioned Najib about Jho Low during a meeting at the former’s house, during which I was there, and also about the deals with IPIC (International Petroleum Investment Co).

“Arul asked Datuk Seri Najib about what Jho Low, whether it was true or not. The discussion was on the 'fund units' put forward to the PM,” he said.

On the second instance, Amhari Efendi said former Finance Minister II, Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani had called him into his room because he heard that the witness had been working on the arbitration with IPIC.

“Johari was confident of going through with the arbitration and winning the case, but his view was not taken into consideration. Najib was a good listener, he kept quiet (during the meeting with Arul Kanda),” he said.

The witness also said Najib continued to deal with Jho Low even after the businessman had conned former Sarawak chief minister, Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Reading an annual report for the year 2008 produced by Utama Banking Group (UBG) which was signed by Abdul Taib, Sri Ram went straight to the part where Jho Low was found to have been eyeing petroleum assets of Terengganu as early as 2008.

Sri Ram: After it was made public that Jho Low was a conman, he played a confidence trick with Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, did the accused continue to deal with him?

Amhari Efendi: Yes, he did. 

The eighth witness will continue to testify this Monday for several more questions to conclude the re-examination. He was first called in to testify on Sept 3.

Najib, 66, is facing four charges of abusing his position to corruptly obtain RM2.3 billion of 1MDB funds and 21 counts of money laundering related to the money.

The Pekan MP allegedly committed the four offences at AmIslamic Bank Berhad, Jalan Raja Chulan branch, Bukit Ceylon here between Feb 24, 2011, and Dec 19, 2014, and the 21 charges, between March 22, 2013, and Aug 30, 2013, at the same place.

The trial before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues Monday.

-- BERNAMA


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