BLOOMBERG/GOH SENG CHONG
Malaysian prosecutors will seek to prove that Najib Razak acted together with fugitive financier Jho Low in their alleged roles in 1MDB, as the former premier faces his biggest trial linked to the troubled state fund, reportedBloomberg.
Gopal Sri Ram, a Malaysian Prosecutor, said, “In truth, Jho Low was the accused’s mirror image, the prosecution will establish facts which will give rise to an irresistible inference that Jho Low and the accused acted as one at all material times.”
Najib is being accused of receiving MYR 2.08 billion ($495 million) of bribes related to a letter of government support for $3 billion of 1MDB bonds in 2013 as well as allegations he accepted MYR 49.9 million linked to a $975 million loan facility from Deutsche Bank. The ex-Malaysian PM has pleaded not to all the charges. Jho Low, or Low Taek Jho, has denied any wrongdoing in response to charges against him in the US and Malaysia.
The start to the proceeding was postponed many times as it clashed with Najib’s first 1MDB, which involved local transactions by the state fund’s former unit. The delays point to the massive task Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has ahead of him in getting to the bottom of the 1MDB scandal. Since wresting power from Najib last year, the prime minister has prioritised investigations into the scandal, as well as recouping funds believed to be lost through the scandal-ridden fund.
Goldman Sachs Group’s lawyer is also present in court to hold a watching brief. Malaysia has charged three of the bank’s units as well as 17 of its current and former directors over $6.5 billion of bond in bonds the bank arranged for 1MDB in 2012 and 2013.