KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 17): After two days of having the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) trial deferred last week due to Datuk Seri Najib Razak suffering from conjunctivitis, the hearing is expected to continue today with the cross-examination of the eighth prosecution witness, Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin.
Najib's lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is expected to complete the cross-examination of Amhari as he indicated at the last session he would take one day.
Amhari, who was special aide to Najib between 2009 and 2018, testified how Low Taek Jho played a large role in determining government-to-government negotiations on the resolution of 1MDB's debt with International Petroleum International Corp (IPIC) in Abu Dhabi and also towards absolving the sovereign wealth fund's debt with several deals with China.
He testified that he was appointed somewhat as the special emissary to Najib in 2016 to negotiate the IPIC matter to ensure 1MDB's action of not paying its debts is not brought for international arbitration and the China deals, which would materialise with Low first preparing the notes and the former premier going on to visit China to iron out the deals later.
The 43-year-old special aide also told the court of the secret meetings he had with the late Datuk Azlin Alias, who was Najib's principal private secretary, and Low, or better known as Jho Low, in helping to carry out various plans that was allegedly agreed by Najib.
He told the court that Jho Low prepared a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) for the former premier that was agreed by him in early 2015. The FAQ includes a statement that the Penang-born businessman does not have a role in 1MDB despite his behind the scene moves.
The witness also described how Najib's wife was said to be close to Jho Low as she would call the fugitive businessman during their secret meetings at Prince Hotel where her voice could be overheard over the phone.
Amhari also revealed later that afternoon that he had deleted his emails of his correspondence with Jho Low earlier this year, after he had been remanded for seven days by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in the middle of last year.
The graduate in Economics from the University of Warwick also said he did not know Jho Low was not the adviser to the Terengganu Sultan Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin when he was the Yang di Pertuan Agong in the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) affairs.
TIA is the precursor of the 1MDB.
Najib is charged with 21 counts of money laundering and four charges of abuse of power under the MACC Act 2009 to the amount of RM2.28 billion.
The trial continues today in front of Justice Sequerah, and will be reported by The Edge live.