1MDB trial: Najib obtained Cabinet approval for US$3bil bond issuance, court hears

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak obtained unanimous approval from the Cabinet in 2013 to approve a letter of support for the issuance of US$3bil in bonds by a subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), 1MDB Global Investment Bhd (1MDB-GIL), the High Court heard.

Senior officer Nur Aida Arifin, 37, from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), agreed with a suggestion by Najib's lawyer, Wan Azwan Aiman Wan Fakhruddin, that Najib, as the then finance minister, had attended a Cabinet meeting on March 13, 2013, and presented a memo before the ministers for their approval on the bond.

The 49th prosecution witness, who was under cross-examination in Najib's RM2.28bil 1MDB trial, also agreed that Najib had merely performed his duties as the finance minister who had no personal interest in the issuance of the bond.

The witness, however, disagreed with the suggestion that Najib did not commit any wrongdoing regarding the approval of the letter.

Wan Azwan: Najib's action in highlighting the risks associated with the bond proved that he didn't have any personal interest in the matter.

Nur Aida: I disagree.

Wan Azwan: If my client had a personal interest in the issuance of this bond, he would have secured a much larger amount, twice the stated sum of US$3bil.

Nur Aida: I disagree.

On Nov 18, 2021, former 1MDB non-executive director Tan Sri Ismee Ismail testified that the government had issued a letter of support acknowledging that 1MDB-GIL would raise US$3bil via bond issuance, which was to be paid in full in March 2023.

He said that if 1MDB defaulted on the payment, the government would be responsible for making the repayments.

Najib, 70, is on trial for 25 charges in total - four for abuse of power that allegedly brought him the financial benefit to the tune of RM2.28bil; and 21 for money laundering involving the same amount of money.

The hearing resumes before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequereah on May 2.

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Najib Razak , 1MDB , 1MDB-GIL , Cabinet , Bond Issuance , Letter , Cabinet , MACC


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