Crime & Courts

1MDB trial: Najib kept millions allegedly received from Saudi monarch after GE13 as contingency plan

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak kept millions of funds he allegedly received from a Saudi monarch as a contingency plan after the 13th General Election in 2013, the High Court heard today.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) senior officer Nur Aida Arifin said Najib told her this during investigations into his alleged misappropriation of billions from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds.

Nur Aida, who is the investigating officer of the case said Najib informed her that the funds were reserved for 'exceptional circumstances', such as the incident on Sept 16, 2008, where Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates were subjected to 'party hopping' as the opposition endeavored to purchase their allegiance.

"Najib said despite his disagreement with the practice, he felt compelled to be financially prepared out of concern that the opposition might try it again.

"However, he felt necessary and decided to return the funds into an entity appointed by the Saudi's government – Tanore Finance Crop. after no such movement occurred," she said.

Nur Aida said this when testifying in Najib's corruption trial for misappropriating billions of 1MDB funds before presiding judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah today.

She said Najib opted to return the funds as they were no longer necessary for election expenses or any contingency spending as mentioned earlier.

"He was concerned that keeping such a substantial amount in his account could invite various perceptions if it were to leak.

"He claimed he did not know who the real owner or beneficiary owner of Tanore and assumed it owned by the government of Saudi Arabia and its representatives," she said.

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

Hearing before presiding judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues.

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