Jho Low's attendance omitted from 1MDB board meeting, says witness

KUALA LUMPUR: Fugitive financier Low Taek Jho attended a 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) board meeting some 12 years ago, but his name was later omitted from the minutes, the High Court heard.

Former 1MDB investment director Kelvin Tan testified that Low, better known as Jho Low, was present at the board meeting on Sept 26, 2009.

Tan is the eighth prosecution witness in the 1MDB audit report tampering trial involving Datuk Seri Najib Razak and former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

Also present at the meeting were former company chairman Datuk Mohd Bakke Salleh, directors Datuk Ismee Ismail, Tan Sri Azlan Mohd Zainol, Tan Sri Che Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, former CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, and executive director Casey Tang.

Tan, who was reading his witness statement, said he had prepared minutes of the meeting that contained Low's name as one of the participants as instructed by Shahrol Azral and Tang.

The witness was also referred to another copy of the minutes by the prosecution, but this version did not have Low's name.

"I confirm that I have never seen this document (the one without Low's name) until the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) showed it to me when my statement was recorded by them," he said.

The witness also confirmed that the content of the document was similar to the one he prepared with the exception of the one detail.

He said on page one of the document shown to him by MACC, there was only one name "Casey Tang" under the "By Invitation" list, when Low had also attended the meeting.

"I have no knowledge how Low's name was omitted from page one of that document.

"However, I confirm that Low did attend the meeting on Sept 26, 2009," he said, adding that to his knowledge at that time, Low did not hold any position in the company that could have warranted his presence at the meeting.

"During the meeting, Che Lodin did ask Low about his role as he attended the meeting, and Low replied that he had a role in the company's board of advisors.

"All those who attended the meeting took note of his answer but nobody disputed it," Tan said.

Najib is charged with using his position to order amendments to the 1MDB final audit report before it was presented to the Public Accounts Committee to avoid any action being taken against him, while Arul is charged with abetting Najib in making the amendments to the report to protect Najib.

Both were charged under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, which provides for a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

The hearing resumes before Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan on Sept 9.

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