By Ida Lim | Malay Mail

Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court February 14, 2024. — YUSOF MAT ISA

Fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low had in 2015 ordered the preparation of an “Arab donation” letter to explain cash deposits into then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s private bank account, the High Court heard today.

Former 1MDB general counsel Jasmine Loo, the 50th prosecution witness in Najib’s trial over the misappropriation of 1MDB’s RM2.27 billion, said she had seen a draft of the Arab donation letters — dated 2014 — in a London hotel.

Loo today said Low had during the 2013 to 2014 period told her that Najib had a private bank account opened in AmBank to receive donations from Saudi Arabia, and that she was asked by Low to meet at the business centre in the Hotel Mayfair in London in early 2015 while she was in that city in the UK.

Loo said that when she arrived at that business centre in the London hotel, she saw three individuals there, namely Kee Kok Thiam, Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd (IPSB) managing director Datuk Shamsul Anwar Sulaiman, and Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) project director Dennis See.

“At that time, Datuk Shamsul was asking Jho Low what the solution is regarding the money received in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s account that was said to have come from Putrajaya Perdana and SRC. Datuk Shamsul said various quarters have started asking about Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s account where the money that flowed into it was said to be money from 1MDB.

“After that, Jho Low ordered Kee Kok Thiam to prepare a letter of confirmation from Prince Saud to state the money that were deposited into Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s account are donations from Saudi Arabia.

“After that, I went out briefly with Jho Low for a discussion about other matters, but when I went back into the same business centre room, I saw Kee Kok Thiam preparing the draft for the donation letter from Prince Saud,” she said, before going on to confirm this as being the draft for a letter dated 2014.

Jasmine Loo’s lawyer Edmund Bon (right) is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court February 14, 2024. — YUSOF MAT ISA

Loo referred to a purported letter from HRH Prince Saud Abdulaziz Al-Saud dated June 1, 2014 to Najib, noting: “I confirm having seen the draft of this letter on a computer screen at the Business Centre at Hotel Mayfair, London in early 2015.”

“The letter prepared by Kee Kok Thiam at that time is related to the donation from Prince Saud Abdulaziz Al Saud to Datuk Seri Najib Razak. I’m not certain about the donation amount at that time.

“I saw at that time the draft did not have a signature yet and am not sure when that letter was sent to Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Therefore, I believe the date stated on this letter is backdated,” she said, but added that she had “never seen and have no knowledge” about the other purported Arab donation letters.

Kee, who was a suspect in the 1MDB case and an alleged associate of Low, was brought back to Malaysia on May 3, 2023 with the cooperation of enforcement agencies from abroad. Kee reportedly died of a sudden stroke on May 29.

Previously, Najib’s lawyers had produced four purported letters — in photocopied form — in this 1MDB trial to claim that the funds that entered Najib’s accounts were Saudi donations.

The four purported letters addressed to Najib were signed off by the alleged Saudi prince — alternately as “Saud Abdulaziz Al-Saud”, “HRH Prince Saud Abdulaziz Al-Saud”, and “Saud Abdulaziz Al Saud”. The four letters were dated February 1, 2011 with the alleged prince promising a US$100 million (RM478 million) gift to Najib, November 1, 2011 (US$375 million), March 1, 2013 (US$800 million), and June 1, 2014 (£50 million).

But the prosecution had previously in December 2022 insisted that Najib will not be able to use these four letters to defend himself over the RM2.27 billion as other courts had found the letters to be a fabrication.

Najib’s 1MDB trial resumes this Friday.