Defence to continue scrutinising Shahrol on TRX development project

Defence to continue scrutinising Shahrol on TRX development project
-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 5): The 1Malaysia Development Bhd trial (1MDB-Tanore) resumes today as the defence will continue the cross-examination on former 1MDB chief executive officer Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, who has been on the witness stand since September last year.

After scrutinising 1MDB's acquisition deals of energy assets in Tanjong Energy Holdings Sdn Bhd and Genting Sanyen Power Sdn Bhd, the defence's line of questioning today is expected to centre around the deals surrounding the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) development project.

To execute the project, 1MDB was proposed in 2012 to enter into a joint-venture with  British Virgin Islands-based Aabar Investments PJS Ltd (Aabar BVI), in a deal that was portrayed to improve the government-to-government relationship between Malaysia and Abu Dhabi.

Aabar BVI was in fact set up to resemble Aabar Investments PJS, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund, International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC). In reality, Aabar BVI had nothing to do with the Abu Dhabi government.

Yesterday, Shahrol admitted that he never briefed Datuk Seri Najib Razak or the Minister of Finance Inc (MoF Inc) about the terms of the approval of the joint-venture before Najib, as the chairman of the board of advisors, signed the Directors’ Circular Resolution (DCR) and Special Rights Redeemable Preference (SRRP) pertaining to the JV.

Defence counsel Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed pressed that Shahrol should have clarified with Najib of any ambiguities in the DCR before it was signed, as he implied that the signature was a mere formality.

Shahrol maintained, however, that Najib had never raised any adverse comments about the transaction.

Today, the trial is expected to conclude at 1.30pm as lead defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah yesterday indicated that his team will have another case to attend to at 2.30pm.

In the 1MDB-Tanore trial, Najib is facing four counts of abuse of power for using his position as prime minister, finance minister and 1MDB board of advisers chairman to receive gratification worth RM2.28 billion and 21 counts of money laundering involving over RM4.3 billion.

The Edge is covering the trial live here.

Users of The Edge Markets app may tap here to access the live report.