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Najib talks about Jho Low and Arab donations

04 December 2019

Speaking in court before Najib, his lead attorney, Shafee Abdullah, said the defense would prove that his client had no knowledge of fund transfers into personal bank accounts, and gave no instructions that such transactions be made.

Najib said he first came to know Jho Low sometime in 2007 when his stepson, Riza Aziz introduced them.

He noted that 1MDB's precursor, the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), was set up following Low's discussions with Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu who was also at that that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia and the Terengganu state government.

Najib is accused of illegally receiving 42 million ringgit (7.8 million pounds) from former 1MDB unit SRC International and was ordered to present his defence in November after a judge ruled prosecutors had successfully established a case against him.

The U.S. Department of Justice has said about $4.5 billion siphoned from 1MDB was used by Low and his associates to buy a yacht, a private jet, as well as Picasso paintings, jewellery, and real estate.

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Reading from his 243-page witness statement during examination-in-chief by lawyer Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohamad, Najib said he received the award in January 2010.

"Because of that I was of the opinion that the influence and relationships of Jho Low would indeed make meeting the goals and investments of 1MDB as they were meant to be", the Pekan MP testified. This award was conferred to President [Barack] Obama and President [Vladimir] Putin. At that time I was not told the amount or date (of the remittance) except that such donation will be handled by his son.

"From 2011 until 2014, I received a huge amount of money that I believed was a donation from King Abdullah as a sign of his support".

Asked if Jho Low had informed him about the exact amount, Najib said he was only told that it would be somewhere between US$100 million to US$200 million.

Low was the link man and I believed that he was the one handling all the donation for the Arab royalty.

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The sum may look substantial but I understand that the Saudi royals are known to be generous whereby before this they had donated a substantial amount of money to various foundations in the USA including the Clinton Foundation and to other countries like Egypt, Pakistan, Palestine as part of their foreign diplomatic policies.

"Jho Low arranged for two aircraft to fly the students from Egypt to Jeddah".

Razak is facing seven charges - three for criminal breach of trust, one for abuse of power and three for money laundering.

Najib, who unexpectedly lost a general election previous year, is now facing dozens of graft and money laundering charges over allegations that he received about $1 billion in 1MDB funds.

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Najib talks about Jho Low and Arab donations