- The Straits Times
Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak said that the meetings between him and Saudi Arabia’s late monarch, King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al-Saud, was arranged by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, the Kuala Lumpur High Court heard on Wednesday (Dec 4).
The meetings between the former premier and King Abdullah took place during a series of visits to Riyadh and Jeddah.
Najib said in his testimony that Low – or Jho Low – had told him that King Abdullah was impressed with Malaysia’s moderate Islam and equality between Muslims and non-Muslims, Bernama reported.
Bernama quoted Najib saying: “According to Jho Low, King Abdullah wanted to confer me Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honour, King Abdulaziz Order of Merit (1st Class) during my visit in January 2010.”
The 66-year-old added that in mid-2010, Low told him that King Abdullah wanted to support Najib’s leadership in the form of personal donations.
“From 2011 until 2014, I received a huge amount of money that I believed was a donation from King Abdullah as a sign of his support. Jho Low was the connection in the matter and I believed he arranged the donations for the Saudi royal family,” The Star quoted Najib as saying.
He said that Low informed him that the donation “could be between US$100 million and US$200 million”, The Star reported.
When asked by his lawyer, Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed, if he was surprised by the large amount, Bernama quoted Najib saying: “It may seem like a lot but I know the Saudi royal family is known for their generosity.”
The ex-PM was testifying in his defence on seven charges of misappropriating RM42 million of SRC International funds, after a High Court judge ordered it on Nov 11.
The case forms part of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.
- Najib Razak has been ordered to submit his defence in a case involving RM42 million of SRC funds
- Cyprus has cancelled Jho Low’s passport, and Malaysia police say he’s not there and might’ve had plastic surgery
- Najib’s former aide says Jho Low had ‘extraordinary powers’ and ‘was like the unofficial advisor to Najib’