1MDB-Tanore trial Day 2: Three witnesses expected to testify

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 29): Another three witnesses are expected to testify on the second day of Datuk Seri Najib Razak's (pictured) 1Malaysia Development Bhd-Tanore (1MDB-Tanore) case involving a sum of RM2.28 billion today.

The three witnesses are former Kota Melaka MP Datuk Wong Nai Chee, who was Najib's adviser in Chinese affairs, Batu Kawan Umno division chief Datuk Mohd Noor Ahmad and Companies Commission of Malaysia officer Rafidah Yahya.

The trial kicked off yesterday, with appointed lead prosecutor Datuk Gopal Sri Ram reading the opening statement, where the former Federal Court judge suggested fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or better known as Jho Low was the mirror or alter ego to Najib in the transactions in a bid to enrich himself.

This, Sri Ram said was done via elaborate dubious deals and transactions that mostly took place overseas involving 1MDB where Najib was the board of advisers chairman.

Four witnesses testified in the trial where the three civil servants told the court of Najib's appointment as the sixth prime minister and Finance minister and also his wages as an MP and PM which amounts to RM78,000 a month.

This however, as raised by lead defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, may not include income from statutory bodies which Najib, who is also Pekan MP, may have held.

Through Najib's former digital press secretary and Orb Solutions Sdn Bhd director Noorhana Hirawani Mohd Noor, the witness testified that the firm was hired by the former premier to provide him with the digital presence that was pivotal following the 2008 general elections.

She testified that Orb Solutions was paid RM2 million via cheque in 2013 which she verified the signature on the cheque as that of Najib.

This the prosecution tied to the aspect of one of Najib's 21 money laundering charge.

Wong and Mohd Noor are expected to testify in two other aspects of the alleged money laundering charge as alleged by the prosecution and Rafidah is expected to testify on the formation of the Terengganu Investment Authority which would then be known as 1MDB.

However before the trial kicks off at Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah's court, Najib would have to be at Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan's court with former 1MDB president and CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy for their charge of tampering the 1MDB audit report.

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