Crime & Courts

Jasmine Loo to testify in Najib's 1MDB trial next week

KUALA LUMPUR: Jasmine Loo Ai Swan, the most anticipated star witness in Datuk Seri Najib Razak's corruption trial for misappropriating 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds, is expected to testify next week.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib said the prosecution would subpoena the former 1MDB general counsel on Feb 13, following the testimony of the current witness, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) senior officer Nur Aida Arifin.

"Loo is required to be on standby and if Aida can finish her testimony that day (Feb 13), we will continue with the former," he said before presiding judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah today.

On Dec 18, last year, Akram said Loo would be called based on the testimony of the 48th prosecution witness, Bukit Aman anti-money laundering crime investigation team head ACP Foo Wei Min.

Akram said Foo's testimony has opened gaps in the case involving the former prime minister.

Previously on Nov 16, Foo agreed with Najib's lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah's suggestion that Loo could be the main witness in either nailing Najib in his coffin and burying him further, or proving his client's innocence, concerning the US$681mil (RM3.19bil) transfer from Tanore Finance Corporation into the former prime minister's personal bank account.

Loo, who became a fugitive after the fall of the Barisan Nasional government during the 14th General Election in 2018, is now under police witness protection after she was arrested on July 23, last year.

Loo's name has been prominently featured in the ongoing trial, with multiple witnesses testifying about her role as a proxy for fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.

Earlier, a doctor K. Shanmuganathan was called to testify about the discrepancy in medical chit (MC) he approved for Aida today.

The doctor from Poliklinik Primecare Putrajaya said he removed the wording 'this MC is not valid for absence in court proceedings' as requested by the witness.

"The wording is a normal practice in private clinics because people misuse it.

"I can confirm that she is not fit to testify as she suffered from fever, flu, and cough," he said.

Najib, 70, is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1Malaysia Development Berhad funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

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