KUALA LUMPUR: Where was Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Jan 11, 2010?
Two witnesses who testified earlier had said under oath that he was in Saudi Arabia meeting the late King Abdullah Abdul Aziz Al Saud discussing political donations he would be receiving from the Kingdom.
However, lead prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram today cast doubt on the story when he questioned another defence witness who had been put on the stand.
The deputy public prosecutor asked Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) assistant commissioner Nasharuddin Amir whether he knew Najib was actually no where near Saudi Arabia on that day but was right here in Kuala Lumpur (KL).
"Do you know where the 1Malaysia Development Bhd corporate office is?
"Do you know that Najib was actually right here in KL officiating that office on Jan 11, 2010?" he asked the 48-year old MACC officer who was formerly the investigating officer in the 1MDB case.
However, Nasharuddin said he needed to check in his files to confirm Najib's whereabouts on that particular day.
He was then ordered to get that information and will be taking the stand again on Monday.
It was reported that former minister in the prime minister's department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom had testified that he was present in the same room when Najib met the late King Abdullah on Jan 11, 2010.
He testified that the Saudi Ruler had discussed about political donations which had to be chanelled into Najib's personal accounts.
Jamil Khir, who was the fifth defence witness, had said that the informal meeting between the two heads of state had taken place at King Abdullah's palace in Riyadh and he attended in his capacity as the minister in charge of Islamic Affairs.
Another defence witness, former Malaysian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Datuk Professor Syed Omar Al Saggaf, had also testified that he too was at the same meeting on Jan 11, 2020.
The former envoy said the Saudi King had then pledged the financial aid to Najib to ensure Barisan Nasional (BN) retained power in the 2013 general elections.
He said the unofficial meeting took place on Jan 11, just before the former prime minister's official visit from Jan 13 to 16.
Earlier, Nasharuddin testified that he was part of a five man team which had gone to Saudi Arabia on Nov 27, 2015, to record a statement from Saudi Prince Saud Abdul Aziz concerning the 1MDB case.
The others in the team included former MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifly Ahmad (who was then a deputy public prosecutor), MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki and two other MACC officers.
He said the team wanted to record the Saudi prince's statement but ended up meeting his agent and attorney by the name of Mohamad Abdullah Al Koman.
Asked if the Saudis had talked about the USD681 million (RM2.6 billion) donation which had been deposited into Najib's accounts, Nasharuddin said the matter was recorded in the statement but it did come directly from Prince Saud.
To a question from Najib's lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Nasharuddin confirmed that there was another person who seemed to be the odd man out when the MACC team met the Saudis at a palace in Riyadh.
"There was this Chinese man there among all the other Pak Arab (Arabs).
"I was puzzled to see him and found it strange to see this Chinese man among the rest of the Pak Arabs. However, I did not speak to him," he said.
Shafee then asked him if it the Chinese man was Eric Tan Kim Loong - who has been described as one of the most trusted aides of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho @ Jho Low.
Nasharuddin confirmed it and said he only learned about the man's identity later.
There were some light moments in court later when Nasharuddin agreed that the entire MACC team was treated to a dinner in the palace after they finished work and then flown to Mecca in a private jet to perform the Umrah.
Meanwhile, another defence witness Datuk Rosman Abdullah testified that Jho Low often referred to Najib as his "boss".
Rosman said Jho Low referred to Najib as his boss when dealing with transfers of money amounting to RM170 million involving his company Putrajaya Perdana Bhd (PPB) and SRC international Bhd.
He said Jho Low told him to notify him once the transfers were done so that he could inform "his boss".
Sithambaram: He asked you to inform him so that he could inform his boss?
Sithambaram: When he mentioned that he wanted to inform his boss you knew he was referring to Najib.
Sithambaram: And you also knew that Jho Low had direct connection with Najib?
Najib, 67, is facing seven counts of power abuse, criminal breach of trust and money laundering in relation to RM42 million of SRC International money.
The trial before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues.