1MDB trial: Najib should have instructed CEO to be more cooperative with Treasury, says Irwan

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak should have instructed former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi to cooperate with the Finance Ministry (MOF), the High Court heard on Thursday (Nov 24).

Former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, 63, said that the 1MDB management was uncooperative when it came to furnishing documents to the ministry.

The 42nd prosecution witness also said that he told Najib about Shahrol being arrogant and kept making excuses but Najib "did not say anything" in return.

According to Mohd Irwan, Najib should have been able to direct Shahrol to provide the documents, which were in relation to a request for government guarantee (GG), to MOF officers.

Mohd Irwan was testifying in a cross-examination by defence lawyer Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed at Najib's RM2.28bil 1MDB trial here Thursday.

Wan Aizuddin: What did you expect the prime minister to do? What sort of direction was he supposed to say? That he calls and tells Shahrol to cooperate?

Mohd Irwan: Yes. As well as for him (Shahrol) to provide all the documents requested by the MOF.

Mohd Irwan also spoke of his experience with the 1MDB management.

1MDB had provided the MOF with a letter of comfort (LOC) which the witness said was more of a GG.

“They approached us with an LOC equivalent to a GG. When my legal officers and I went through it, we discovered it is more like a GG, which needs to be tabled to the Cabinet. We need a detailed proposal, which was not provided by 1MDB.

“We (MOF) told them that we needed a detailed proposal but they ignored our request. They said they already briefed the then PM," said Mohd Irwan.

Wan Aizuddin: Do you agree that the attitude of Shahrol and the management cannot be attributed to Najib?

Mohd Irwan: No comment.

Wan Aizuddin: If the CEO refused to cooperate, you cannot blame the PM.

Mohd Irwan: I am not sure how powerful the 1MDB CEO was.

Najib is on trial for 25 charges in total – four for abuse of power that allegedly brought him financial benefit to the tune of RM2.28bil; and 21 for money laundering involving the same amount of money.

The trial before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes on Dec 5.

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