By Aathi Shankar
Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not benefit from the federal government guarantee for the RM5 billion bonds issued by the Terengganu Investment Authority, the precursor of 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB).
Former 1MDB chief executive chairman (CEO) Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi told the Najib-1MDB trial that records did not show that Najib, then also the finance minister, benefited from the greenlight on government guarantee for the issuance of TIA’s Islamic Medium Term Note (IMTN) bonds in 2009.
The memorandum on the government guarantee was presented by the finance ministry to the cabinet headed by then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Shahrol Azral, the 9th prosecution witness, testified before Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah on the 18th day of the trial that the federal government had acted responsibly in giving its guarantee to TIA bonds.
Apparently the federal government gave the guarantee with several crucial conditions attached such as that TIA cannot pass a resolution for its own winding up and the state government had to ensure that TIA was always in a good financial condition that would not jeopardise its obligations under the IMTN.
Another condition was that the state government must inform the federal government any situation deemed to be prejudicial to TIA.
For the record, TIA was initially owned by the Terengganu government before it was taken over by the Minister of Finance Incorporated and changed the name to 1MDB.
Najib, 66, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion in the 1MDB fund and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.
The Pekan MP allegedly perpetrated the offence at the AmIslamic Bank Berhad Branch, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Ceylon here between Feb 24,2011 and Dec 19,2014 while for all charges of money laundering was between March 22,2013 and Aug 30,2013, at the same place.