Ex-CEO: BN politicians wanted me to protect Najib

KUALA LUMPUR – Former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi said on the court yesterday that nearly everyone in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Barisan Nasional (BN) politicians wanted him to protect then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak from the 1MDB controversy, even to a point of taking a fall from it.

According to Shahrol, the idea of protecting Najib, who was also the finance minister at that time, had come from different sources and not just from businessman Low Taek Jho.

When asked by lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram on the details, Shahrol said that the instruction came from everyone including the Officers of the Prime Minister’s Department and BN politicians who were also members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Parliament.

He also added that the discussion to “protect the prime minister” was also held at the

Including those who attended were the committee’s former chairman Datuk Seri Hasan Arifin.

When asked about what they were protecting Najib from, Shahrol said that they were trying to protect Najib from the reputational damage as several international news sites are exposing the 1MDB issue.

Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, on the cross-examination earlier suggested that Shahrolcommitted serious offenses in relation to 1MDB and could be charged with the serious criminal breach of trust. A suggestion Shahrol disagreed with.

The trial continues on September 7. Najib, 67, is facing 25 counts of abuse of power, money laundering involving 1MDB funds worth RM2.28 billion which were deposited in his account during his stint as the country’s Prime Minister.

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