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1MDB case: Defence challenges testimony of former COO/CEO

TheMole
Written by TheMole

KUALA LUMPUR — Sept. 7, 2020: Whether the testimony of a prosecution witness will be accepted will be decided by the court tomorrow after objections on it by a defence lawyer.

The testimony in question was from 10th prosecution witness Mohd. Hazem Abdul Rahman which, according to counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, was hearsay.

Shafee is the lead counsel for former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who is facing four charges of using his position to obtain gratification of RM2.3 billion of money from 1Malaysia Development Berhad and 21 counts of money laundering.

The parts Shafee picked on were statements involving fugitve Low Taek Jho @ Jho Low and Najib’s knowledge of Low’s plan to siphon millions from the sovereign wealth fund. Hazem was a chief operating office and also CEO of 1MDB until he quit in 2015.

“Unless we can call Jho Low in here to be cross-examined, his (Hazem’s) statement would just be hearsay.

“This hearing has been polluted with hearsay from Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi (former 1MDB CEO) and we do not want to repeat this,” Shafee argued, before prosecutor Akhram Gharib called Hazem to the witness stand.

Shafee then made an oral application to drop certain paragraphs in Hazem’s 118-page statement, to which Akhram objected.

“We cannot get a full story if we take out several paragraphs from the statement. It is not hearsay and is relevant as it was connected with the facts and issues of this case,” he said.

Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah will rule tomorrow if Hazem’s statement is admissible.

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