KUALA LUMPUR, September 29 – Businessman Low Taek Jho was recorded as present in the minutes of a board meeting of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) held on September 26, 2009 at the hotel Royale Bintang Damansara, the High Court announced today.
Former 1MDB Company Secretary Lim Poh Seng was the 10th prosecution witness called to testify in the trial where Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Arul Kanda Kandasamy are jointly accused of falsifying a 2015 audit report of the sovereign investment fund.
Lim told the court he was not present at the meeting, but the minutes prepared by the company’s chief investment officer at the time, Kelvin Tan Kay Jin, made it clear that Low – popularly known as the name of Jho Low – was present.
This is the minutes of the special board meeting of 1MDB at Royale Bintang Damansara on September 26, 2009. According to the minutes, the meeting was chaired by Datuk Mohd Bakke Salleh and present at the meeting were Tan Sri Che Lodin [Wok Kamaruddin], Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, Tan Sri Azlan Zainol, Datuk Ismee smail, Mr. Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) and Casey Tang Keng Chee.
“I was not present at the meeting as Secretary General because I was on leave. The minutes were prepared by Kelvin Tan, ”Lim said.
Lim told the court that he was first appointed secretary of Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) Berhad since its incorporation on February 27, 2009.
He stayed on when the company changed its name to 1MDB on September 25 of the same year.
His duties as Company Secretary included, among other things, providing advisory services to the company and taking minutes of board meetings.
He explained that all meeting minutes will be distributed to the board of directors and then signed for verification by the chairman, along with the official records kept by him in his capacity as secretary of the company.
Lim also told the court that he was not surprised to see Low’s name in the meeting minutes, at the request of prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.
During cross-examination by Najib’s attorney, Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed, Lim explained that he was approached by Low to become the company secretary.
He explained that Low contacted B&M Consultancy Services Sdn Bhd, where he was then employed, to request secretarial services from his company before TIA was formed.
Lim resigned from his post as Company Secretary on March 31, 2011. He was replaced by Goh Gaik Kim.
Former 1MDB chief investment officer Tan last month told the court that Low attended the 1MDB board meeting on September 26, 2009, but was unclear on the role. and the official capacity of the latter.
In court, Tan was also shown a different version of the meeting minutes dated September 26, 2009 by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission as part of its investigation. In this version, Low’s name had been removed.
In November last year, Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, who was the auditor general in charge of auditing 1MDB in 2015, spoke about the findings of government auditors on Low’s participation in the September 26, 2009 meeting.
Ambrin said government auditors from the National Audit Department (NAD) initially discovered at the 1MDB office when checking the minutes of the 1MDB meeting that there were minutes from the September 26 meeting. 2009 which mentioned “Low Taek Jho” as a participant.
But Ambrin said NAD was not authorized by 1MDB to make a copy of the document at the time.
Ambrin also said he then invited all 1MDB board members, including Mohd Bakke, to the NAD office for talks – to verify if Low attended the board meeting. of 1MDB.
Ambrin said that Mohd Bakke confirmed that Low’s was present at the board meeting on September 26, 2009, when the investment to issue Islamic Medium Term Bonds (IMTN) was made.
In this trial, Najib is accused of abusing his functions as prime minister and finance minister to order changes to 1MDB’s audit report in order to avoid civil or criminal prosecution, while the former chief executive of 1MDB, Arul Kanda Kandasamy, is accused of aiding Najib in the alleged offense.