By Aathi Shankar
The 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) management sold its 40% stake in a botched joint venture with PetroSaudi International (PSI) Limited without the mandatory written approval from then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2010.
1MDB former chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi admitted on the 29th hearing day of Najib-1MDB Trial that the management failed to comply with mandatory requirement stipulated under Article 117 of the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA).
“The prime minister’s signature was never obtained,” confirmed the 9th prosecution witness before Judge Colin Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah during cross-examination today, Monday, November 4, 2019.
Another crucial evidence was that no board of directors meeting was ever held to deliberate and decide on the gigantic business undertaking to sell 1MDB’s USD1 billion worth of shares that would fetch USD1.2 billion.
The board was only informed via two director circular resolutions (DCRs) from Shahrol Azral on imminent sales of the shares.
1MDB’s then-lawyer Jasmine Loo issued the shareholders resolution bearing Najib’s signature as the Minister of Finance (MoF) to inform the MoF Inc on the business dealing.
Shahrol testified that the management decided to sell off the 40% 1MDB shares after he realised that the joint-venture company established in 2009 with Cayman-based PSI had resulted in zero returns.
The USD1.2 billion supposedly gained from disposal of the shares was not in liquidated form but converted into a loan in the form of Murabaha Notes owed by PSI to 1MDB.
In other words, it was a paper sale, a paper monetary gain and a paper loan.
Najib, 66, currently faces 25 corruption charges – 4 charges of abusing his power to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion in the 1MDB fund and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.
The Pekan MP has been alleged to have committed the 4 charges of gaining gratifications at the AmIslamic Bank Berhad Branch, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Ceylon in Kuala Lumpur between Feb 24,2011 and Dec 19,2014, and the 21 charges of money laundering between March 22,2013 and Aug 30,2013, at the same bank.