1MDB: Jasmine Loo Grilled On Her Dealings with Jho Low

During the 1MDB trial, defence counsel Shafee Abdullah asked Loo why Jho Low’s character cannot be generalised when he is obviously a crook of the highest order, but his client’s (Najib’s) character was heavily generalised and his liberty at stake, Low’s is not and he could be on the beach somewhere while Najib is in the dock!

KUALA LUMPUR – The Kuala Lumpur High Court on Friday were gripped with tense moments when Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s defence counsel, Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah, ‘roasted’ star witness, Jasmine Loo Ai Swan, a former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) Director – CEO’s Office.

Shafee and Loo were engaged in a war of words when he (Shafee) accused the latter of attempting to defend herself and shift the blame onto Najib for the financial scandal, which has garnered global attention for its disclosures of colossal corruption.

Shafee: You seemed to not only defend yourself but projecting a lot of ‘missiles’ on (towards) my client.

Loo: I do not agree.

Inside Person of 1MDB

Shafee: What I am saying is that, you were the inside person in 1MDB, yet you were not aware of the money that had been siphoned out?

Loo: I am not in charge of finance!

Shafee: So, was my client in charge of finance? He’s an outsider, you’re an insider. If you were blind, he was totally blind (to the money that were taken out).

Shafee also queried the former lawyer about whether she had engaged in any dealings with the prosecution or the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to testify against the former prime minister, which Loo denied.

Shafee: Have you made a deal with the MACC or the prosecution?

Loo: No.

Charged In Absentia

In 2018, fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho (Jho Low), alongside four others linked to the scandal — Loo, Terence Geh, Casey Tang Keng Chee and Eric Tan Kim Loong — were charged in absentia at the Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur magistrate courts over money-laundering cases linked to the 1MDB scandal.

Loo was charged with two counts of laundering more than US$6 million received in a Swiss account she controlled on 06 Dec 2012 and 01 July 2014.

This is believed to be a portion of the funds diverted from the first two 1MDB bond offerings underwritten by Goldman Sachs.

However, Loo stated that she was unaware of the latest developments in the case as she had delegated it to her lawyers.

Crook of the Highest Order

Shafee then redirected his line of questioning towards Low by inquiring why Loo, a lawyer, and apparently a brilliant one at that or she would not have been made a partner at a young age of 31, in the law firm of Zain & Co, together with presiding judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah, placed her trust in a man deemed as a ‘crook of the highest order’.

Loo emphasised that she had never considered the possibility that Jho Low was a fraud attempting to siphon billions of ringgit from 1MDB funds.

The 50-year-old witness said that the rogue financier had been earning millions prior to his association with 1MDB, citing his ownership of various businesses and dealings with companies from Arab countries.

Conman

Shafee: You accepted the word from Low… now you know he is a conman and a crook of the highest order.

Loo: In hindsight, perhaps. But I do not know whether some of the things he said were true.

Shafee: Is there any character of Low in the context of this trial that has redemptive value?

Loo: Perhaps not. But we cannot generalise his character that way.

Shafee: Why not? My client’s character was generalised and his liberty is at stake. He (Low) is not. He could be on a beach somewhere.

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.

The trial continues. – NMH

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