KUALA LUMPUR: Former 1MDB CEO Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman told the High Court in Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial that there was no wrongdoing on his part over the transfer of US$175 million to a Caribbean company.
He said the transfer of funds was done according to procedures on April 28, 2014.
However, lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah contended that the witness committed criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money laundering offences when he sanctioned the transaction.
“There was no resolution by the board of directors to approve the money to be sent to BSI Lugano (bank account for Aabar Investment PJS BVI Ltd),” he said.
In response, Hazem said he did not think there was a need for the directors’ approval.
The prosecution, in its opening statement, said that 1MDB through its subsidiary company – 1MDB Energy Holdings Ltd – obtained two loans from Deutsche Bank, amounting to US$1.225 billion in 2014.
From that amount, a total of US$175 million was allegedly paid to Aabar Investment PJS for the purpose of redeeming a 49% shares option 1MDB granted to Aabar Investment PJS.
Aabar Investment PJS had previously assisted 1MDB Energy and 1MDB Energy (Langat) Sdn Bhd to obtain the bonds guarantee from Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).
The prosecution has claimed that RM4.09 million from the US$175 million bound for Aabar PJS BVI had entered the former prime minister’s account in the same year.
Najib is standing trial on 25 charges of abuse of power and money laundering over funds amounting to RM2.28 billion which were deposited into his bank accounts between February 2011 and December 2014.
Lawyers for Najib had questioned Hazem’s credibility yesterday as then CEO, claiming he failed to perform his fiduciary duty.
Hazem has insisted that he did not conspire with fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho and aides to misappropriate the company’s funds.
Shafee pointed out that a directors circular resolution dated May 22, 2014 was “fraudulently” drafted to enable Hazem, as the company’s representative, to take a loan up to US$300 million to buy back the 49% shares.
“The document was to conceal what you and others have anchored in misappropriating (the funds),” he added.
Hazem denied the lawyer’s suggestion.
The hearing continues before High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah tomorrow.