KUALA LUMPUR, Sept. 15 A $ 3 billion debt that 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had received in 2013 was not used for a joint venture with Abu Dhabi to make investments as originally intended, but was used to pay off debts. companies and even to buy land in Penang which appeared in the speech of the election campaign Datuk Series Najib Razaks, the court heard today.
Former 1MDB CEO Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman said this as he testified as the 10th prosecution witness in former Prime Minister Najibs of abuse of power and money laundering trial over more than RM 2 billion of 1MDB funds.
Mohd Hazem today described the hasty process in which a 1MDB 1MDB Global Investments Limited (1MDB GIL) unit raised funds in March 2013 by issuing $ 3 billion bonds.
Mohd Hazem also claimed that Low Taek Jho whom he has described as the trusted right-wing Najibs, representative and mediator for 1MDB affairs had told him that some of the money raised from the $ 3 billion bond would be used for elections.
Jho Low told me that these funds should be expedited because these funds will be used for election purposes and to repay a Standard Chartered loan that was borrowed to pay off investments in Saudi Petro.
Funds from the broadcast of this connection were also used to purchase land at Ayer Itam in Penang as an initiative of Umno in the election campaign.
When Datuk Seri Najib was campaigning in Penang, he had said in one of his pottery that this land that was purchased would be developed by 1MDB to build affordable housing in Ayer Itam, Penang, he told the Supreme Court today.
Najibs defense attorney Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed then stood up to record the defense teams’ objection to Mohd Hazems’s testimony on the grounds that these reached the alleged word, as Low would not be available in court as a witness to be taken in question whether he had said them matters.
But when asked by Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohamad Mustaffa P. Kunyalam how he knew about what Najib said while campaigning in Penang for the election, Mohd Hazem said he was personally present at the event where Najib spoke about Penang land.
As for how he knew some of the $ 3 billion bonds had been used to pay for Ayer Itam land, Mohd Hazem said he has personal knowledge of it.
Najib was president of Umno in 2013, while Malaysia had its 13th election on May 5, 2013.
Yesterday and even today, Mohd Hazem had repeatedly pointed out how he had been told by Low that 1MDB was allegedly formed to help Umno and generate funds for Umno, as well as how Low had opposed Mohd Hazems’ efforts to demanded the return of funds to the allegedly existing 1MDBs and overseas location saying that such money was Umno funds.
Instead of receiving the full US $ 3 billion from the bond it issued in March 2013, 1MDB GIL had received only $ 2.721 billion as it had to pay a very high fee of 9.3 percent of the funds raised for the Goldman Sachs bond signatory. , said Mohd Hazem.
Based on his knowledge until he left 1MDB, Mohd Hazem said he knew some of the funds in the 1MDB GIL account were used in mid-2013, including to buy Ayer Itam Estate Lands in Penang for around RM 1 billion , to repay Standard Chartered borrowings of about RM 2 billion and possibly other costs to repay interest on other borrowings.
The trial before High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes this afternoon.
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