KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) corruption trial will be calling former Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz (pic) to testify, the High Court was told.
Lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram informed the court that Zeti would be called as a witness after the former governor’s name came up during a cross-examination of witness Cheah Tek Kuang by Najib’s lead counsel, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.
Muhammad Shafee was asking Cheah, who was a former managing director at AmBank, about Zeti’s connection with fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, who is better known as Jho Low.
The lawyer had begun the cross-examination by asking Cheah about the purported letters from the Saudi royal family to Najib, where the letters stated that Najib would be getting millions in recognition of his work in the Islamic world.
Cheah agreed that he handed over two such letters to Zeti to inform the governor about incoming monies to Najib’s bank account with AmBank.
Muhammad Shafee: Have you ever visited the governor’s (Zeti) house?
Cheah: Once for Hari Raya celebration.
Muhammad Shafee: Did you see Jho Low anytime at the house?
Cheah: No. I am very sure.
Muhammad Shafee: I have reliable information that Jho Low is a frequent visitor to Zeti’s house.
Cheah: I am not aware.
At this point, Sri Ram then interjected and told the court that the prosecution intended to call Zeti.
“We are calling Zeti so these questions can be addressed to her. She’s got the answer,” he said.
Last week, Cheah, who is the 39th prosecution witness, testified that he was involved in assisting Najib with opening a current account with AmBank to receive US$100mil from Saudi Arabia.
He also testified that he had met with Zeti to inform the former governor of the opening of the account and the money that was coming in.
“Zeti took note of the matter and asked that it be done in accordance with the existing regulations of the bank and the central bank,” Cheah said then.
Najib, 69, is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.28bil from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.
The hearing continues before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah today.