Jho Low was Najib’s unofficial special advisor, court told
“Most of the time, I would be informed by Najib that the instructions given by Jho Low were approved by him, and Datuk Azlin also noted to me that Jho Low’s instructions once confirmed by Najib must be followed up”
(Bernama) – A former special officer to Najib Tun Razak told the High Court here yesterday that fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, was the unofficial special advisor to the former prime minister.
Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, 43, said Jho Low carried out various behind-the-scenes tasks including managing 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), international programmes, working visits, business proposals and policies, as well as welfare work for Najib.
Testifying in Najib’s 1MDB trial yesterday, he said Jho Low also orchestrated investment dealings, inter-government or G to G negotiations, political as well as fund manoeuvres for the former prime minister.
“Every directive given by Jho Low must be carried out because I believed he had obtained prior approval from Najib.
“I never questioned the directives, but sometimes when necessary, Datuk Azlin Alias, who was then Najib’s principal private secretary, or I, myself, did refer to Najib for confirmation.
“Most of the time, I would be informed by Najib that the instructions given by Jho Low were approved by him, and Datuk Azlin also noted to me that Jho Low’s instructions once confirmed by Najib must be followed up,” said Amhari Efendi, who was then with the Economics Division at the Prime Minister’s Office.
He was reading out his witness statement during the examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib.
Amhari Efendi, who is currently unemployed, told the court that Jho Low would order him and Azlin to carry out Najib’s instructions.
“Apart from us, there were other individuals in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) who were at Jho Low’s command and most of the instructions would be executed because, although Jho Low is young, he has charisma and commands extraordinary authority,” he said.
Testifying on the third day of the trial, the eighth prosecution witness also said that during his service with Najib, he often met with Jho Low to discuss matters including confidential ones.
“There were times when special instructions involving confidential matters were given to Datuk Azlin or me by Jho Low and I made sure those instructions had been conveyed or known and agreed to by Najib himself.
“I say that because most of the time, Datuk Azlin or I will check with Najib on the instructions given to us by Jho Low and we found that he was aware of the instructions, and at times, he agreed with the instructions given by Jho Low and ordered us to do it,” the witness said.
Najib is facing four charges of abusing his position to obtain gratification totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB and 21 counts of money laundering involving the same amount of funds.
The Pekan member of parliament is alleged to have committed the four offences at AmIslamic Bank Berhad, Jalan Raja Chulan branch, 55, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Ceylon here between Feb 24, 2011 and Dec 19, 2014, and the 21 offences between March 22, 2013 and Aug 30, 2013, at the same place.
The hearing before justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues today.