Monday, May 16, 2022

Ex-1MDB director admits RM2.28 billion went into Najib’s personal accounts

Ismee Ismail previously said that Najib had not benefited from 1MDB funds.

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A witness in the 1MDB trial today changed his stance and admitted at the Kuala Lumpur High Court that RM2.28 billion from the state fund went into former prime minister Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts between 2011 and 2014.

Contrary to his previous testimony in which he said Najib had not benefited from 1MDB funds, former non-executive director Ismee Ismail, 58, agreed with the prosecution’s contention after he was shown a flow chart of several layering processes revolving around the Deutsche Bank and Islamic medium term notes facility loan.

According to the document shown to the 13th prosecution witness during re-examination by lead prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram, the money went through a series of layering processes before finally landing in Najib’s personal AmBank accounts ending with 694 and 880.

Sri Ram: Would you like to revisit your answer that the accused (Najib) did not obtain any benefit from these transactions?

Ismee: These documents were not shown to me during cross-examination.

Sri Ram then questioned the witness again on whether he would like to change his answer, to which Ismee replied: “From the chart, I can see some funds went into the account.”

“You mean some funds belonging to 1MDB went into the accused’s account?” Sri Ram repeated, to which Ismee agreed.

Sri Ram earlier questioned Ismee about his observation of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low’s relationship with Najib during his tenure on the board from 2009 to 2016.

Sri Ram: Throughout that period, from your observation, what did you gather about the relationship between Jho Low and Najib?

Ismee: I believe they had a close relationship.

When asked by Sri Ram whether he had any personal knowledge of the details between Najib and Jho Low on how they shared 1MDB funds, Ismee said he did not.

Najib, 68, is facing 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 judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues.

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