‘Knowledge of PetroSaudi came from documents’

Another day in court: Najib being escorted to his 1MDB graft trial at the Kuala Lumpur High Court here yesterday. — Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: A former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) general counsel told the High Court that her knowledge of PetroSaudi International (PSI) Ltd, a company with which 1MDB had entered into a joint venture (JV), came from documents.

Jasmine Loo testified that, in hindsight, she should have conducted due diligence on the company before 1MDB entered into any dealings with them.

“At that time, I only knew (of PSI) based on the documents given to me, such as bank letters, as well as information given to me by former 1MDB CEO Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi,” Loo said at Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1MDB graft trial yesterday.

The 50th prosecution witness was under cross-examination by Najib’s lead counsel, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who suggested that 1MDB had gone into a JV with a “sham” company that did not exist.

Muhammad Shafee: What if I tell you that PSI does not exist in Saudi? It is a sham.

Loo: I wouldn’t know.

Muhammad Shafee: Don’t you think you (as a general counsel) need to know?

Loo: As far as I know, it existed.

Muhammad Shafee: Was it the Prime Minister’s job to determine if PSI exists in Saudi?

Loo: No.

Muhammad Shafee suggested that it was the job of Wong & Partners, who is the legal consultant for 1MDB, as well as that of Loo, to conduct due diligence on PSI before 1MDB entered into any dealings with them.

Loo agreed to the suggestion.

She also agreed with Muhammad Shafee’s suggestion that 1MDB’s business dealings involved “astronomical” sums of money, and as general counsel, she would have to be satisfied that she was dealing with the right entity.

It was previously heard in court that in the JV agreement, which was signed on Sept 28, 2009, 1MDB had injected funds worth US$1bil in cash as a starting capital for a 40% stake in the JV company, while PetroSaudi Holdings Cayman (a company that was purportedly a subsidiary of PSI) injected assets worth US$108mil for a 60% stake.

However, it was said that US$700mil from the US$1bil was diverted into Good Star Ltd, a company linked to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low.

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 today.

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key words: Najib Razak , 1MDB , PSI , High Court


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