Jho Low’s associate prepped statement before meeting MACC, court told

MACC investigating officer Mohd Nasharudin Amir. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: An officer from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) told Najib Razak’s SRC International trial today that an associate of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, Tan Kim Loong, had prepared his own statement before being questioned by the authorities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, five years ago.

Investigating officer Mohd Nasharudin Amir said he and his colleague, Mohd Hafaz Nazar, spent only 25 minutes with Tan at “the palace of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud” on Nov 29, 2015.

A team of five officials had flown to Saudi Arabia to meet one “Prince Saud Abdulaziz Al-Saud” for investigations into the former prime minister’s RM2.6 billion “donation” case.

Nasharudin said MACC then “copy-pasted” Tan’s prepared statement into the witness statement without any chance to ask him further questions.

When asked by ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram whether he knew it was Tan who had drafted his own statement, Nasharudin said he did not know.

He also told the court that a red notice alert was issued to track down Tan and the fugitive businessman on Dec 7, 2018.

“It was stated in the red notice that Eric (Tan) served as a proxy for Low in numerous financial transactions,” he said.

“Their last known location was the Maggie and Rose Family Members Club in Hong Kong.”

When asked by Sithambaram whether a Malaysian lawyer, Selva Mookiah, had been present when MACC officers took Tan’s statement, Nasharudin said yes.

“I don’t know what his duty was that day,” he added. “I only knew he was a lawyer.”

His fellow MACC officers, Azhari Karim and Ting Ing Ping, also testified today.

Azhari told the court he had taken a statement from former Putrajaya Perdana Bhd group executive director Jerome Lee on July 22, 2015 at the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya.

Ting meanwhile said MACC had met Low at Rosewood Hotel in Abu Dhabi on Nov 27, 2015 where he recorded the businessman’s statement.

The hearing continues tomorrow before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

Najib is facing six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust in the transfer of RM42 million from SRC International to his personal account.

He is also accused of abusing his power as prime minister by giving government guarantees on SRC International’s RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Incorporated.