Ex-aide says Najib never told him to lodge reports on abuse of 1MDB funds

Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur today.

KUALA LUMPUR: Najib Razak’s former aide told the High Court here today that the ex-prime minister gave him no instruction to lodge any reports with the authorities following news on the alleged appropriation of funds from 1MDB four years ago.

Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, who was Najib’s special officer, said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had had a hard time between the end of 2014 and 2015, when media outlets reported that funds for the 1MDB-Petro Saudi International joint venture were allegedly abused and that fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho was living a lavish lifestyle.

“There were also reports that said money from 1MDB was used to fund ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’,” he said, referring to the movie produced by Najib’s stepson, Riza Aziz.

Fiat prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram asked Amhari whether Najib had asked him, then-principal private secretary Azlin Alias, or anyone in the PMO to file complaints on the allegations reported in the media to the police or the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

To this, Amhari said no.

Between 2014 and 2015, he said, the PMO had also come under attack over the 1MDB issue.

“We at the PMO made the decision to defend Datuk Seri because we believed it was a conspiracy against him,” he added.

Najib was slapped with 25 counts of money laundering and abuse of power charges over alleged 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.28 billion deposited in his AmBank accounts between February 2011 and December 2014.

The hearing continues before High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah. Former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi will testify later today.