KUALA LUMPUR: Former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) general counsel Jasmine Loo Ai Swan told the High Court here today that she once worked at UBG Berhad, a company owned by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, with a monthly salary of about RM45,000, including vehicle allowance, fuel allowance, and travel allowance, from Jan 1, 2009, until April 2011.
Loo, 50, who is the 50th prosecution witness, said she first met Jho Low, who was a director of UBG Berhad, when attending a job interview with the company.
“In October 2008, I learned of a job opportunity at UBG Berhad, a company listed on Bursa Malaysia. The job offer was to handle the legal affairs of the companies under the UBG Berhad group. Subsequently, I attended an interview with UBG Berhad where I met Jho Low for the first time as a director of UBG Berhad.
“I succeeded in the interview and received an offer from UBG Berhad as an executive director of law,“ she said while reading her 63-page witness statement at the trial of corruption and money laundering charges involving RM2.3 billion of 1MDB funds faced by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
When describing her involvement in 1MDB, Loo said that in early 2011, 1MDB CEO Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi contacted her to offer her the opportunity to join 1MDB as a lawyer, but she did not give any response at that time because she was not ready.
“After that, Shahrol Azral frequently contacted me, and Jho Low also informed me that if I were to join 1MDB, he (Jho Low) had no objections but Jho Low did not force me to join the company,“ she said, adding that she began working at 1MDB from May 2011 until November 2013.
Regarding Shahrol Azral, the witness said she first met him at UBG Berhad when the company undertook a project with Accenture Consulting in early 2009.
“Shahrol Azral was a partner managing the project. After he left Accenture Consulting, he often came to the UBG Berhad office to attend meetings with Jho Low, representatives from Goldman Sachs, and the team that founded the Terengganu Investment Authority Berhad (TIA), which was later renamed 1MDB.
“I was not involved in those meetings, but I knew of their presence at the UBG Berhad office. From there, I got to know Shahrol Azral and several members of the TIA founding team,“ she said.
Regarding her duties at 1MDB, the witness said her initial task was to review the joint venture documents that had been executed by 1MDB with Petrosaudi International Limited (PSI).
Najib, 70, faces four charges of using his position (as prime minister) to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.
The trial before Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues tomorrow.–Bernama