I don’t know if Jho Low hoodwinked Najib, says witness

Najib Razak’s former special officer Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin denies that he worked ‘hand in glove’ with fugitive financier Low Taek Jho.

KUALA LUMPUR: Najib Razak’s former special officer said he does not know if fugitive financier Low Taek Jho had hoodwinked the former prime minister over 1MDB dealings.

Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, who worked for Najib from 2008 until last year, said he did not know if the businessman misled his former boss as the topic did not cross his mind.

The eight prosecution witness said this during cross-examination by defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah on day six of Najib’s 1MDB trial at the High Court here today.

Shafee: Did it occur to you that Low, who is a fugitive and sought by several countries, also misrepresented himself to others over 1MDB issues?

Amhari did not answer the question.

The court was told earlier today that Low, better known as Jho Low, had misrepresented himself that he was adviser to the state ruler before the Terengganu Investment Authority was converted to 1MDB.

It was told that Low had also misrepresented himself as the special adviser to the chairman of 1MDB’s board of advisers, who was Najib.

Shafee: Did it also occur to you that Najib was misled by Low ?

Amhari: I don’t know because I did not think about it.

Ad hoc prosecutor Gopral Sri Ram had opposed that line of questioning, stating that only Najib could answer if his defence was called.

However, trial judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah allowed the question.

Amahari was testifying against Najib, who is facing 25 charges of money laundering and abuse of power over alleged 1MDB funds in his AmBank accounts.

He is accused of abusing his position to obtain RM2.28 billion in bribes in February 2011 and December 2014.

He is also said to have transferred RM2.28 billion in illegal funds to his bank accounts and to have subsequently used the money.

Amhari also dismissed a suggestion by Shafee that there were material contradictions in his witness statements and that he was lying in court to implicate Najib and Low on all 1MDB crimes.

Shafee also accused Amhari of working hand in glove with Low and that was why the businessman gave him US$1 million.

However, Amhari strongly denied it.

Amhari had earlier testified during examination-in-chief that Low would meet him and Azlin Alias in secret at the Prince Hotel in Kuala Lumpur to execute 1MDB instructions by Najib and the businessman.

Shafee said it made no sense for Low to meet the duo privately as such gatherings could be held at Najib’s private home in Langgak Duta.

The lawyer suggested that Low met them at the hotel to impress, “which is a typical modus operandi of a conman”.

Amhari again disagreed with Shafee’s assertion.

The witness also denied another suggestion by Shafee that he deleted his communication with Low that was in a mobile phone in order to obliterate their true relationship.

The hearing continues.