Witness: Najib agreed to 1MDB’s RM3bil loan from Socso to lend to PSI

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KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The High Court was told on Thursday (Sept 26) that Datuk Seri Najib Razak agreed to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) applying for a RM3 billion loan from the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) to lend to PetroSaudi International Limited (PSI).

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Former 1MDB chief executive officer Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, 49, while reading his witness statement, however, said he had never discussed the matter with Najib at the time. He said Najib had agreed to 1MDB lending US$750 million (RM3.15bil) to PSI, subject to 1MDB getting a RM3 billion loan from Socso.

Shahrol Azral said this in reference to the minutes meeting with the chairman of the board of advisors (BOA) dated March 30,2011, during a key examination by senior deputy public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram at the 14th day trial of the former prime minister’s case involving 1MDB.

“I confirm that I did not discuss (the matter) with Datuk Seri Najib at that time. The minutes of the meeting were prepared by Jho Low and signed by Datuk Seri Najib.

“The minutes of the meeting were also given to me by Jho Low, but I do not remember when the minutes were handed out, ” he said, noting that he signed the minutes and kept them.

The ninth prosecution witness said he also informed the 1MDB board of directors at a meeting on April 4,2011 that Najib had agreed to 1MDB increasing investments with PSI.

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“I wish to mention that the proposed Maybourne Hotel Group project was never planned or discussed by the 1MDB board of directors, and I believe that Jho Low just wanted to use the 1MDB name for the hotel bid, ” he explained.

Najib, 66, faces four counts of using his position to obtain RM2.3 billion in 1MDB funds and 21 counts of money laundering involving the same amount.

The Pekan MP has been charged with four counts of corruption at AmIslamic Bank Berhad’s Jalan Raja Chulan branch in Bukit Ceylon here between Feb 24,2011 and Dec 19,2014.

While for the 21 money laundering charges, Najib is alleged to have committed the offences at the same bank between March 22,2013, and Aug 30,2013.

The hearing is before Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah. – Bernama