Monday, July 4, 2022

Lawyer Shafee, ex-second finance minister trade barbs at Najib’s 1MDB trial

Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah get into an argument over how the latter dealt with documents related to 1MDB.

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Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial got off to a fiery start this morning with the former prime minister’s lead counsel and former second finance minister Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah getting into an argument over how the latter dealt with documents related to 1MDB.

The exchange began when Husni, the 20th prosecution witness, repeatedly answered that all 1MDB documents were handled by Najib and that he was just following orders, saying “Saya yang menurut perintah” (I who follow orders).

Najib’s lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah then asked him to explain what he meant.

Husni: That is what I have explained to you… you listen carefully. All 1MDB letters went to the minister. I just had to sign… saya yang menurut perintah… what else can I do. These two projects, namely 1MDB and SRC International Sdn Bhd, did not follow the SOPs for companies under the Ministry of Finance. It all came from the top… you didn’t work there, you don’t know anything.

Shafee: That is why I am asking you… you are the one who knows.

Husni: Then you must understand what I am saying.

Shafee: I understand what you said. Don’t quarrel with me, I am the one asking questions.

Husni: I am not quarrelling with you.

Shafee: You are quarrelling! Just answer the question, don’t be arrogant.

Husni: I am not arrogant!

Shafee: You are arrogant!

Here, judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah interjected and asked the witness to answer the question posed by Shafee.

To this, Husni replied: “Your Honour, he is trying to put the blame on other people.”

Sequerah: He has a duty to perform.

Husni: Even if it’s a duty, he should at least be honest.

To this, Sequerah said the prosecution would give the witness the opportunity to argue later and that he need not to worry about it.

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 continues before Sequerah.

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