November 15, 2022
KUALA LUMPUR – Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak kept quiet when he was told that two senior officers in 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) should be criminally charged over misappropriation from the sovereign wealth fund, the High Court heard.
Former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah testified that he had gone to see Najib after the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) concluded its investigations on 1MDB in 2015.
“I told him that (former 1MDB CEO) Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi and (former 1MDB chairman) Tan Sri Che Lodin Wok Kamaruddin should be charged but he kept quiet.
“He is a nice man, he just kept quiet,” he said here on Monday (Nov 14).
Mohd Irwan, the 42nd prosecution witness, was testifying in an examination-in-chief by lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram at the 1MDB trial involving Najib.
Earlier, during identification, Mohd Irwan identified Najib, who was sitting in the dock, and called him “my boss”.
The court also heard from Mohd Irwan who questioned why he was charged when he was trying to help 1MDB settle its mounting debts.
He said he had tried to restructure 1MDB and to avoid a “cross-default”.
“When I took over as (1MDB) chairman, there were only debts. The assets were only TRX and Bandar Malaysia, so I needed to monetise (them) to make the whole 1MDB viable.
“Secondly, repaying the loan. The debt was being paid by my predecessor, so when I took over, I (continued) paying because if you don’t pay, there will be a cross-default and the country will be declared bankrupt.
“When Lim Guan Eng took over (as finance minister), he was also paying the debt. So I don’t understand the charge brought against me.
“But that’s a story for another day,” he said.
On Oct 24, 2018, Mohd Irwan and Najib were charged on six counts of criminal breach of trust involving RM6.6bil in relation to payments to the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).
The case has yet to go to a full trial.
Najib, 69, is on trial for 25 charges in total: four for abuse of power that allegedly brought him financial benefit to the tune of RM2.28bil; and 21 for money laundering involving the same amount.
The hearing continues before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah on Tuesday (Nov 15).