KUALA LUMPUR: A former special officer to Datuk Seri Najib Razak has denied that some US$800,000 (RM3.36mil) was deposited into his foreign bank account as a "reward" from fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho.
Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, 43, disagreed with the suggestion made by defense counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah during cross-examination here on Thursday (Sept 5) that the money was intended for him.
Shafee: I am putting it to you that your claim in court – that the US$884,996.78 is not for you, but it is a stand-by fund for political purposes – is a creation of your imagination?
Amhari: I disagree.
Shafee: I put it to you that this money was your reward for helping Low (better known as Jho Low) in (his) many (business) transactions.
Amhari: I disagree.
The court also heard that Jho Low had lent Amhari US$200,000 (over RM600,000 according to the exchange rate at the time) in 2010.
This loan, the court heard, was neither repaid nor was there any agreement signed between Jho Low and Amhari when the loan was given.
When asked by Shafee, Amhari also confirmed that the loan was not mentioned in his witness statement to the court.
Shafee: In what context did the money come into your possession? Not in another political context, I hope.
Amhari: I asked for a loan and was asking from many people, and he (Jho Low) was the one who gave it to me.
Amhari said he wanted to pay Jho Low back from the proceeds he was expecting to get from the sale of his property in Kota Damansara, but that the property went unsold.
"I then tried to transfer the house to Jho Low but he said, 'Take your time," said Amhari.
Najib, 66, is facing four charges of having used his position to obtain gratification totalling RM2.3bil from 1MDB funds and 21 counts of money laundering involving the same money.
He faces imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of up to five times the sum or value of the gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if found guilty.
The hearing continues before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah in the afternoon.
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