Jho Low would give orders to govt officials: Najib’s ex-aide
He describes fugitive financier as former Malaysian PM's 'special adviser' who was close to Najib's wife
Fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, was a charismatic man with "extraordinary powers", who could give orders to officials at the Malaysian Prime Minister's Office (PMO) despite having no official appointment, the High Court heard.
Mr Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, 43, a former special officer to former prime minister Najib Razak, testified that Low would give him and the late Azlin Alias orders in carrying out instructions from Najib.
"Even though he was a young man, I saw him having charisma and kuasa luar biasa (extraordinary power)," the witness said.
Mr Azlin was Najib's principal private secretary who died in a helicopter crash in April 2015.
Mr Amhari said individuals known to Low at the PMO would carry out his instructions.
"This was because he (Low) was the special adviser to Najib in behind-the-scenes special functions that outsiders did not know. This included a lot of things such as international programmes, work visits, policy and business suggestions, charity works, as well as 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)," he said on the third day of the 1MDB trial yesterday.
The witness, who was reading from his witness statement, said Low was the dealmaker in investment dealings, government-to-government negotiations, Najib's political moves, as well as funds received by Najib.
"Each of the instructions (had to) be carried out, as I believe he already had them approved by Najib. I have never questioned any of the instructions.
"However, there were instances when it was needed that Azlin or I asked Najib about the instructions just to get confirmation," he said.
Mr Amhari said that most times, Najib would tell him the instructions were indeed approved by him. He also said Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor was particularly close to Low.
He said Rosmah would always contact Low, though he was unsure about the details of their conversations. Rosmah had no objections to Jho Low getting close to them, he said.
In September 2008, when Mr Amhari reported for work as the special officer to Najib, who was then deputy prime minister, he recalled Low sending him a text saying: "Bro, I heard you are in TPM (deputy prime minister) office, congratulations and we will be closely in touch".
The hearing continues today.
Najib, 66, faces 25 charges - four of abuse of power that allegedly brought him financial benefit to the tune of RM2.3 billion (S$760 million) and 21 of money laundering involving the same amount of money.
He faces imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of up to five times the sum or value of the gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if found guilty. - THE STAR