1MDB trial continues with new former CEO taking the stand

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 7): The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)-Tanore trial continues today with a new witness taking the stand for the prosecution.

Another former company chief executive officer (CEO) Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman will take the stand before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah to testify about his tenure in the plagued state investment arm.

Hazem was with Sime Darby Bhd as the managing director of one of its subsidiaries prior to joining 1MDB.

Hazem was appointed to 1MDB by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as well as fugitive financier Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.

Prior to him taking over as CEO, Hazem was placed in 1MDB as an executive director.

His predecessor Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, who was a star witness in the trial had testified previously that Hazem's curriculum vitae (CV) was handed to him by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho (Jho Low), who claimed that his appointment was recommended by Najib's principal private secretary, the late Datuk Azlin Alias.

However, Shahrol noted that there was no executive director position in 1MDB, so he proposed that Hazem be appointed as chief operating officer.

Hazem eventually succeeded Shahrol as 1MDB CEO in 2013 and oversaw much of the deals between 1MDB and the fraudulent Aabar Investment PJS Ltd surrounding the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) development.

This led to the issuance of a US$3 billion bond by 1MDB’s subsidiary 1MDB Global Investments Ltd after receiving a letter of support that was issued by the Ministry of Finance in a mere two months. Much of the funds were misappropriated.

The Edge is covering the trial live here.

Users of The Edge Markets app may tap here to access the live report.

Surin Murugiah