1MDB management unresponsive after securing US$3bil loan, says witness

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 06 Sep 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here on Tuesday (Sept 6) was told that the management of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) never gave any feedback after securing a US$3bil (RM13.5bil) loan through a letter of support (LOS) issued by the government.

Former Finance Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Siti Zauyah Mohd Desa, 63, said various efforts were made by the ministry to get the latest information from 1MDB on how the US$3bil was used, but the company never responded.

ALSO READ: Witness unsure if 1MDB support letter for RM1bil loan brought up in Parliament

"I tried to contact the management of 1MDB through letters and phone calls. We also contacted the representative of 1MDB at the time, Zahid Taib to give feedback and submit a report to the Ministry of Finance, but there was no reply.

"I also confirm that I have never seen the joint venture agreement document between 1MDB and Aabar Investment BVI Co, which is in their LOS application to the government to secure the US$3bil loan," she said when cross-examined by lawyer Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed who was representing former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the trial involving the misappropriation of RM2.3bil from 1MDB.

ALSO READ: 1MDB: MACC still investigating individuals overseas linked to scandal

The 26th prosecution witness then agreed with Wan Aizuddin's suggestion that 1MDB's lack of response showed the weakness of the company's management.

Wan Aizuddin: "Do you agree with me that you can't attribute the fault of 1MDB management to the prime minister, finance minister and the chairman of the board of advisers” (All these positions were held by Najib).

ALSO READ: 1MDB unit Brazen Sky files for bankruptcy protection in US

Siti Zauyah: "From what I can remember, there was a letter from Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi (former 1MDB CEO) stating that the management cannot reveal any information about the use of US$3bil because they have to refer to the 1MDB board of directors first”.

Wan Aizuddin then referred to Siti Zauyah's witness statement which stated that Malaysia was now forced to pay back the 1MDB debt due to the LOS issued by the government and signed by Najib as Finance Minister in 2013.

ALSO READ: Rosmah back in court to support Najib in 1MDB trial

Siti Zauyah confirmed that she had no personal knowledge of the matter but made a statement based on hearsay from the officer in charge of managing the LOS process.

Asked if she had seen any document showing that 1MDB failed to make repayments causing the government to bear the debt, Siti Zauyah replied "I don't remember..there must be some evidence, that's why I said that in my witness statement".

ALSO READ: Information suppressed during 2015 audit of 1MDB, Arul Kanda tells court

Wan Aizuddin: Interestingly you made this statement "LOS signed by Najib as Minister of Finance". Are you attributing that the government has to bear the debt because Najib signed the LOS, therefore he is at fault?

Siti Zauyah: "No comment”.

Najib, 69, is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3bil from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The trial before Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues.- Bernama

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court , 1MDB , Najib Razak , LOS , loan , Siti Zauyah Mohd Desa


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