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Zeti claims ex-Ambank CEO tried to conceal misconduct in 1MDB scandal

Publish date: Thu, 30 May 2024, 07:11 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz said today that former Ambank chief executive officer Ashok Ramamurthy sought to cover up his wrongdoing in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) financial scandal.

The former Bank Negara Malaysia governor said this during re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib in Datuk Seri Najib Razak's corruption trial for misappropriating billions of 1MDB funds before a High Court today.

Earlier, Akram told Zeti that Ashok had given a different version from what she had been telling the court about their meeting to discuss the opening of Najib's bank account at Ambank.

Ashok, in his statement, said he sent several letters to Zeti to update her about funds entering the former prime minister's account allegedly from Saudi Arabia, which Zeti vehemently denied.

Akram: To your knowledge, is there any reason he (Ashok) wants to do this?

Zeti: Yes. He wanted to cover up his wrongdoing during his time as Ambank chief executive officer. It (the wrongdoing) starts from the very beginning.

Zeti, who is a key witness in the trial, said Ambank failed to exercise due diligence before releasing the funds.

"In the case of other financial institutions, they did due diligence and that is when they found out that the funds went into Good Star Ltd.

"That is why they got a letter from former 1MDB chief executive Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi," she said.

It was revealed during the trial that Good Star was an offshore company linked to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low.

Zeti said Ambank also committed a serious offence when it fabricated transactions involving Good Star.

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.

Hearing before judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues.

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