Najib never moved to dissociate himself from Jho Low, says ex-1MDB CEO
He says ‘Jho Low was basically the man of the PM’.
(MalaysiaNow) – The High Court was today told that former prime minister Najib Razak did not say or do anything to dissociate himself from fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.
Testifying under re-examination by senior deputy public prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram, former 1MDB CEO Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman said Najib had never issued any instruction not to comply with the instructions given by Jho Low in all matters related to 1MDB.
Sri Ram: When you had the meeting at the accused’s (Najib) house and Jho Low was present, what was your observation of the relationship between Jho Low and the accused?
Hazem: It was very, very close.
Sri Ram then asked the 49-year-old witness why he obeyed instructions from Jho Low, to which Hazem said all the instructions from Jho Low “came from Najib himself”.
Questioned further by Sri Ram on why he would follow instructions from Jho Low, the 10th prosecution witness said: ”Jho Low was basically the man of the PM.”
Hazem also said that Jho Low’s role in 1MDB was concealed during meetings with accounting firm KPMG Malaysia to discuss the company’s audit because Jho Low himself had asked that his name not be revealed.
Further questioned about the removal of KPMG Malaysia as the strategic development company’s auditor, Hazem said the audit firm refused to sign off on 1MDB’s 2013 financial year audit report and that he received pressure, including from Najib himself, to ensure that the audit report was signed.
“I was called directly by him (Najib) asking me to find a way to solve this (signing off the audit report) and the only way to solve this was to replace KPMG with a new auditor.
“At the time, I was in no position to disobey Najib as he was the prime minister,” said Hazem.