KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 29): 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) former chief executive officer Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi admitted today that he was the person referred to as "1MDB Officer 2" in 1MDB-linked lawsuits filed by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in 2016.
Shahrol, who is the prosecution's ninth witness today during the 1MDB trial involving Malaysia former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, told the the High Court here that former 1MDB executive director Casey Tang Keng Chee was "1MDB Officer 1" in the DoJ's report.
Shahrol said this during cross examination by Najib's lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, before High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.
Shahrol said he had only "scanned through" the DoJ report when it was first released, as he was "turned off" by the fact that the DoJ accused him of knowingly being complicit in the US$700 million (about RM2.93 billion) diversion from 1MDB into Good Star Ltd, which is owned by Low Taek Jho.
Low is popularly known as Jho Low.
Shahrol claimed the DoJ did not have complete information about the transaction, and that no one from the DoJ approached him to seek clarification on the matter.
"Nobody from DoJ came to ask me what happened," he said.
According to the DoJ report, 1MDB Officer 2 had misled banks and 1MDB’s board of directors into believing Good Star was owned by PetroSaudi International Ltd (PSI), and not by Low.
In July 2016, the DoJ filed lawsuits seeking to seize dozens of properties tied to 1MDB, claiming over US$3.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB.
The lawsuits sought to seize assets “involved in and traceable to an international conspiracy to launder money misappropriated from 1MDB”, according to the DoJ.
Today, Shahrol admitted he was not sure until now, as to what extent had Low and Tang lied to him (Shahrol) during the course of the 1MDB-PSI joint venture arrangement.
Shafee implied Low was a "total liar" and that his credibility should have been in question, to which Shahrol agreed.
Shafee: If given the chance to be CEO again (of 1MDB), would you have checked on them?
Shahrol: I would have resigned on the spot. I still believed 1MDB is a strategic vehicle for Datuk Seri Najib and I want to serve him well.
The Edge is reporting the proceedings of the 1MDB-Tanore trial live.