Embassies in Beijing, Abu Dhabi not informed of 1MDB-linked trips, says Najib’s ex-aide

Najib Razak with his counsel, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian embassies in Beijing and Abu Dhabi were unaware that the prime minister’s special envoy had come to discuss with the authorities in both countries about 1MDB-related matters, the High Court heard today.

Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, who formerly worked as special officer to Najib Razak, said these were considered as secret missions.

“For the China trip, it was also a precursor to Najib’s official visit to the country in 2016,” he said when re-examined by ad-hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram.

Amhari, the eighth prosecution witness, during examination-in-chief had said he went to Beijing to hold talks on the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), the Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline and the Multi-Product Pipeline (MPP) to “bail out” debt-riddled 1MDB.

Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, who formerly worked as special officer to Najib Razak.

The witness said Malaysia had an embassy in Beijing and Wisma Putra was entrusted with Putrajaya’s foreign affairs.

Amhari said his trip to Abu Dhabi was also without the knowledge of embassy officials there.

He had gone to the United Arab Emirates capital in 2016 to stop the state’s sovereign fund from going to court after 1MDB defaulted on a bond payment guaranteed by IPIC in 2012 for the acquisition of two power plants.

The witness said discussions for the trips were held at Najib’s private home on Langgak Golf.

“Upon returning from my trips, I reported to Najib on the outcome,” he said.

Ad-hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram.

Further questioned by Sri Ram, he said it was normal for civil servants to file claims upon their return from foreign assignments.

“But for the China (Beijing) and Abu Dhabi trips, Najib reimbursed me in cash that ran into few thousand ringgit as these were secret missions,” he added.

Najib 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.

Hearing before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah was adjourned to Monday.