Saturday, January 22, 2022

Former director says feared for his family’s safety during 1MDB investigation

Ismee Ismail says MACC never threatened to initiate proceedings against him or promised anything in return for his testimony.

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A former non-executive director of 1MDB told the High Court today that he felt restless and worried for his family’s safety when he was called by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to give his testimony regarding the 1MDB scandal.

Ismee Ismail, 56, said he feared for his family and for his own safety as there were many uncertainties which he personally could not figure out.

“I was not pressured by anybody; the feeling is very difficult to describe… I felt restless because at the time I was wondering what was happening.

“I was trying to figure out if there were things I had not done correctly,” he said under cross-examination by Najib Razak’s lawyer Hariharan Tara Singh in the former prime minister’s trial for the misappropriation of RM2.3 billion in 1MDB funds.

Further questioned by Hariharan, Ismee said MACC never threatened to initiate a criminal or civil proceeding against him or promised him anything in return, to get him to give evidence against the Pekan MP.

“During the time of giving testimony to MACC, I was worried about the safety and security (of my family) but they (MACC) showed me I should not be worried, but there was no promise about no civil suit.

“I won’t say I am giving incriminating evidence against (Najib) but I am giving the facts of the case. I have a responsibility to tell the truth during investigation.

“I gave them (MACC) true facts but if it was against the law I would not be the judge of that,” he added.

The 13th prosecution witness also agreed with a suggestion by the lawyer that he was unhappy when he came to know about a civil suit filed by the government through 1MDB against him and other former senior management members of the company.

Hariharan: I put it to you that you became very unhappy because you were promised by MACC, if you give evidence against Najib, there will be no civil suit for you.

Ismee: There was no such promise.

Hariharan: Did you, in a way, feel betrayed when you became aware of the civil suit?

Ismee: I wouldn’t say betrayed; I would say very, very sad. I felt more sad than betrayed.

However, the civil suit against him has been withdrawn.

Najib, 68, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The trial before justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on Jan 5 next year.

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