KUALA LUMPUR: Former 1MDB chairman Bakke Salleh told the High Court in Najib Razak’s trial that he was trailed by an unknown staff member during a PetroSaudi International Ltd (PSI) joint venture signing ceremony 13 years ago.
He said he attended the event sometime in November 2009 as Najib and the Saudi Arabia royal family inked the joint venture deal.
“I was accompanied and monitored by a 1MDB employee who followed me everywhere, even to the toilet,” he said.
Under cross-examination by lawyer Shafee Abdullah, Bakke said he could not ascertain why the employee trailed him throughout the event.
“My guess is as good as yours,” Bakke added.
Shafee asked Bakke if he tried to see Najib and tell the former prime minister about his concerns regarding the PSI joint venture.
Shafee: Did you attempt to see the PM?
The court previously heard that Bakke was unhappy with the 1MDB management team for disobeying his and other directors’ instructions on the transfer of US$700 million (RM3.07 billion) to an unknown firm earlier that year. He subsequently quit as chairman as a “sign of protest” in October 2009.
1MDB had in 2009 entered into a joint venture with PSI, which required 1MDB to fork out US$1 billion for the venture.
The money was supposed to be deposited into the 1MDB-PSI joint venture account, but only US$300 million was moved into this account.
Shafee pointed out that Bakke left in October but he still attended the event in November.
“I attended out of respect to the (other) board members and the shareholder (Najib).
“After I resigned, I did not want to get involved with 1MDB (again). It was something that I wanted to put behind me,” Bakke added.
The hearing continues tomorrow before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.
The prosecution will call its next witness, former chief secretary to the government Sidek Hassan.
Najib is standing trial on 25 charges of abuse of power and money laundering over alleged 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.28 billion deposited into his AmBank accounts between February 2011 and December 2014.