The chief executive officer (CEO)'s post of 1MDB was exposed to political elements, the Kuala Lumpur High Court heard today.
Former 1MDB CEO Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman (above) testified this during the RM2.28 billion 1MDB corruption trial of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.
The 10th prosecution witness made this claim over events that occurred prior to his stepping down from the CEO post in January 2015.
Hazem helmed 1MDB from March 2013 until January 2015.
He alleged that in October 2014, after he came back from performing the Haj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, he shared his intention of stepping down with 1MDB-linked businessperson Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, as well as with Najib's then principal private secretary Azlin Alias.
“I had told Azlin to tell Low to find a candidate to replace me because all the officers who worked under me did not want to take over from me on the reason that the CEO’s position is exposed to political elements,” Hazem testified.
The witness was testifying just before he wrapped up reading his 110-page written witness statement.
However, he did not go into further detail on what he meant by "exposed to political elements".
The trial before judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah will resume on Oct 5.
Najib is on trial over four counts of abuse of power and 21 counts of money laundering involving RM2.28 billion of 1MDB’s funds.
Aside from being the premier, the accused was also the finance minister and chairperson of the board of advisors of 1MDB at the time.
1MDB was fully owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated (MoF Inc).
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