KUALA LUMPUR — Aug. 4, 2020: A defence lawyer has described sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad as being run by a bunch of idiots after its CEO testified about it being duped into disbursing US$600 million to a bogus company in 2012 for the development of TRX in the city.
Lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah for former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak made this unflattering description after 1MDB’s former CEO Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi testified that the management was duped into disbursing the huge amount to Aabar Investments PJS Limited (Aabar BVI), which has since been revealed as a fake Aabar that claimed to be a subsidiary of International Petroleum Investment Co.
Shahrol responded to Shafee by saying that he had no comment.
Aabar BVI was incorporated by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho alias Jho Low in the British Virgin Islands.
On being questioned by Shafee, Shahrol said he thought that everything was above board but only knew that 1MDB had been duped after finding out that the real Aabar was named Aabar Investment PJS.
“We did not do any due diligence as I only conducted a desktop research on IPIC’s background,” said Shahrol.
Najib is charged with misappropriating RM2.28 billion of 1MDB money.
Shafee went on to chide that the 1MDB management had once again fallen into cobra pits in its dealings, to which Shahrol again had no comment.
It was reported that Aabar BVI directors Khadeem al Qubaisi and Mohammed Badawy al Husseiny were sentenced to 15 years and 10 years jail respectively after being found guilty of committing financial crimes.
The trial continues before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah.