1MDB trial: Ex-bank officer admits failure in consulting Jho Low over Najib’s account

KUALA LUMPUR: A former relationship manager at AmBank who handled Datuk Seri Najib Razak's account admitted that it was a failure on her part for consulting with fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, on matters relating to the account.

During a cross-examination by Najib's lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Joanna Yu, 52, testified that she liaised with Low as he was the one who initiated the opening of the bank account.

This is despite Low not having any authorisation to handle the account.

Muhammad Shafee: Wasn't that a failure on your part? Banks are very strict with these types of things. How come you took such an easy way out?

Yu: Yes, it was my failure.

The court also heard that apart from Low, Yu liased with Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, who was 1MDB's former chief investment officer, who was the mandate holder for Najib's accounts at AmBank.

To a suggestion by Muhammad Shafee, Yu agreed that the bank as well as herself did not alert Najib on a US$800mil transaction that went into Najib's personal account.

Muhammad Shafee: Did you not alert your client (Najib) at any time by saying, “you know Mr PM, I am not too comfortable with this amount, it does not look right”.

Yu: I did not. I do not think the bank did.

Muhammad Shafee: Your bank did not alert Najib that there was anything wrong?

Yu: No.

Muhammad Shafee also asked Yu about her termination from the bank in 2015.

Muhammad Shafee: Were you terminated?

Yu: Yes, but there was no show cause letter (from my employer).

Muhammad Shafee: Were Najib's accounts one of the reasons you were terminated?

Yu: I am not sure.

The lawyer then asked Yu if she had her termination letter at hand, to which the witness answered in the negative.

Muhammad Shafee told the witness to bring her termination letter to the court on Monday (Jan 30).

Najib, 70, 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 hearing continues before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah on Jan 30.

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Najib Razak , 1MDB , AmBank , Joanna Yu , High Court , Jho Low


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