Thursday 20 Jun 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 13): The star witness of the 1MDB-Tanore trial, former 1MDB general counsel Jasmine Loo Ai Swan, who evaded the press on Tuesday in her first public appearance since returning to Malaysia last year, has been placed under the custody of law enforcement authorities, her lawyer confirmed.

Edmund Bon, who represents Loo in the trial, confirmed the matter in response to queries from The Edge. The Edge has also reached out to deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib.

Loo sported a face mask along with a black business suit and a white shirt at the High Court on Tuesday. She was snuck in and out of the courtroom by a number of uniformed individuals, to avoid being photographed by the press.

Loo, 50, had been on the run from 2018 up until her return to Malaysia in July 2023, when she was immediately arrested and questioned by the police before being handed over to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

She took the witness stand at approximately 4.12pm to testify against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as the prosecution’s 50th witness in the trial, where the former PM is facing four counts of abuse of power to receive gratification worth RM2.28 billion. Najib also faces 21 counts of money laundering involving over RM4.3 billion in the same hearing.

Loo began by taking her oath on the witness stand before proceeding to read out a statement that was prepared beforehand.

As she was reading out her statement, Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Mohamed Shafee Abdullah requested that she remove her face mask as it was hard to hear her speak, to which she duly obliged.

Loo was once part of the inner circle of fugitive Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, a chief co-conspirator in the 1MDB fiasco who remains at large.

Kee Kok Thiam, another Jho Low accomplice, also surrendered to the authorities in May last year. However, Kee died a few weeks later after suffering a stroke at the Sungai Buloh Hospital.

Besides Jho Low, former 1MDB chief investment officer Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil is also still at large.

A total of RM29 billion in 1MDB assets have been recovered since 2019, the MACC said earlier this month. Billions more are still missing.

The Edge is covering the trial live here.

Users of The Edge Markets app may tap here to access the live report.

Edited ByAdam Aziz
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