KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 19): The 1Malaysia Development Bhd-Tanore (1MDB-Tanore) trial involving Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the High Court here may see a new prosecution witness being called today if the defence finishes the cross-examination of the previous premier’s former aide Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin and the prosecution concludes his re-examination.
The former premier's lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had indicated that he would take two hours to conclude his cross-examination this morning.
Amhari has also been asked by Shafee to produce the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's search list on his house when he was remanded by the commission for seven days in July last year.
The new witness is Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, a former chief executive officer of Terengganu Investment Authority and its federalised incarnation 1MDB, who, like Amhari, would be a vital prosecution witness.
Yesterday saw the defence trying to further discredit Amhari by showing that Najib’s former officer had not only taken a US$200,000 loan from Low Taek Jho, otherwise known as Jho Low, but had also received thousands of US dollars from the wanted businessman when he accompanied the former PM on his trip to New York, the United States and London, the United Kingdom.
They intended to show that Amhari appeared to be beholden to the missing financier as during the cross-examination. The witness had admitted that he did not always verify the instructions given by Jho Low with his boss Najib.
During his opening statement, deputy public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram had called Jho Low Najib’s “mirror image” or alter ego in the 1MDB-Tanore scheme to funnel billions out of the fund, which resulted in the former premier being charged with four counts of abuse of power and 21 counts of money laundering involving 1MDB funds amounting to more than RM2.28 billion.
If former 1MDB CEO Shahrol takes the stand today as the ninth prosecution witness, he is expected to testify on the early formation of TIA, which morphed into 1MDB.
He had also previously testified before the Parliament Public Accounts Committee in 2016.
His testimony may take several days as it is understood his witness statement is more than 270 pages.
The trial continues today before Justice Sequerah, and will be reported by The Edge live.