Najib allowed to be present at wife’s trial

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will be present to show his support for his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor during the verdict in her corruption case involving a solar hybrid project in Sarawak.

His lead counsel, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, told Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah that the Pekan MP wished to be present at Rosmah’s court case this morning before attending his own 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MBD) trial.

“I’m making an application because my client wants to support his wife, ” Shafee said yesterday.

Outside the courtroom, Shafee said three deputy public prosecutors from the 1MDB trial had also requested the judge to allow them some time to attend Rosmah’s proceedings.

“I also told the judge that my client would like to be in support – emotional support – when his wife receives the judgment at the end of the prosecution’s case on whether her defence will be called or not, ” Shafee told reporters yesterday.

The lawyer said the judge agreed to the request and told the parties that the 1MDB trial would start whenever the proceedings involving Rosmah before Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan concluded.

During the 1MDB trial, the High Court was told that an associate of fugitive financier Low Taek Jho was appointed as the signatory of 1Malaysia Development Bhd Global Investments Ltd (1MDB GIL) despite not holding any position in the subsidiary company of 1MDB.

Witness Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman, 49, confirmed this during a cross-examination by defence lawyer Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed.

Wan Aizuddin: Now you mentioned in your witness statement, apart from you and Azmi Tahir being appointed as directors of 1MDB-GIL, what other person was appointed as signatory?

Hazem: Yes, (it was) Terence Geh.

Wan Aizuddin: Can you remind us again what was the reason Geh being appointed signatory despite not being the director of the company?

Hazem: I don’t know the reason.

Wan Aizuddin: You would agree as a member of management, the authorised signatory will give him dominion over the assets of the (1MDB GIL) company?

Hazem: Yes.

Wan Aizuddin: Shouldn’t the board of directors be briefed first about his appointment (as the signatory)?

Hazem: I am not sure if the board of directors should approve first in 1MDB GIL.

In his witness statement, Hazem had said that Geh was appointed by Low – better known as Jho Low – as an authorised signatory to the 1MDB GIL account.

It was reported that 1MDB GIL – a company set up in the British Virgin Islands on March 8,2013 – was a special purpose vehicle set up for a joint venture between 1MDB and Abu Dhabi-Malaysia Investment Company (Admic).

Najib, 68, is facing four charges of abusing his position to obtain gratification totalling RM2.28bil in 1MDB funds and 21 counts of money laundering involving the same money.

The hearing before Justice Sequerah continues today.

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