Datuk Amhari Effendi Nazaruddin failed to clarify that Jho Taek Low or Jho Low was Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s ‘advisor’ at a Terenggany Investment Authority (TIA) board meeting in 2009.
For past few days, Amhari has told the Najib-1MDB trial in Kuala Lumpur High Court that Jho Low was Najib’s unofficial ‘special strategic advisor’.
However, during the TIA meeting, which Amhari attended, he failed to clarify Jho Low’s status when questions were raised by Istana Negara representatives on the real identity and role of the fugitive businessman in TIA.
The reason Amhari, the ex-special officer of Najib, gave at the hearing today, Tuesday, September 10, 2019, was that “I was late for the meeting and could not recall whether Jho Low’s subject matter was raised in the meeting.”
The 8th prosecution witness was testifying before Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah during cross examination by lead defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.
TIA is the predecessor to 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB).
Jho Low apparently had gone around to claim that he was the chief advisor to TIA advisory board the chairman, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu.
Sultan Mizan was then the serving as the country’s 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Minutes of the TIA meeting held on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 have revealed that Istana Negara representatives in attendance had questioned on the status and role of Jho Low in TIA.
The palace was apparently wary and worried over the possibility of Jho Low misusing the Agong’s name for his own selfish interests.
Testifying on the 6th day of the trial, Amhari also said he failed to inform Najib that Jho Low’s name was brought up in the TIA meeting.
However, Amhari testified that he informed about it to the late Datuk Seri Azlin Alias, Najib’s former principal private secretary.
Amhari clearly has contradicted his own testimony.
Firstly the 42-year-old claimed that he couldn’t remember whether Jho Low’s subject matter was raised in the TIA meeting but on the other hand, he remembered informing Azlin about it!
Najib, 66, currently faces 25 corruption charges – 4 for allegedly using his position to obtain gratification and 21 counts for alleged money laundering involving some RM2.3 billion of 1MDB funds.
The Pekan MP has allegedly committed gratification offences at the AmIslamic Bank Berhad, at No.55, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Ceylon here between Feb 24, 2011 and Dec 19, 2014.
Najib is alleged to have committed the money laundering offences at the same bank between March 22, 2013 and Aug 30, 2013.
Prosecution is led by Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.
To another question by the defence, Amhari testified that Najib had never introduced Jho Low as the premier’s “special strategic advisor” to him or anyone else.
He clarified that it was Jho Low who claimed to be Najib’s “advisor”.
There was no official appointment letter either.
It was all Amhari’s presumption based mostly on hearsay and own imagination.