Najib Says He's Right to Buy $131,000 Gift for Wife: 1MDB Update




(Bloomberg) -- Najib Razak said he has the right to buy birthday presents for his wife and gifts for a former leader of Qatar using funds that prosecutors allege was siphoned from a former unit of 1MDB.

Malaysia's former prime minister testified in court that he spent 763,500 euros ($845,000) at jeweler De Grisogono in Sardinia as a gift for then-Qatar premier Ahmed Jassim Al Thani, bought a $130,625 Chanel watch in Hawaii for his wife and spent 127,017 ringgit ($30,500) at Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok.

All of that, he said, was within his rights.

"As I said, I think I have the right to use the funds as I see fit," he said in court. "Again, I'm very careful with regards to expenses." He added that the spending amounted to only 0.4% of funds deposited into the relevant accounts.

Najib has spent five days reading out a sworn statement to defend against accusations of receiving 42 million ringgit of bribes in relation to his role in a former unit of 1MDB. In his testimony, he detailed decisions delegated to others and denied knowledge of transactions surrounding the case.

His lawyer is set to start questioning him on Tuesday, followed by prosecutors. The ongoing trial involves seven of the total 42 charges that Najib faces. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Key Developments

Najib is entering his defense after the judge said the prosecution made a successful case for all seven charges in the trial involving a former unit of 1MDBThe former premier has two other trials ongoing, including one involving 1MDB's overseas transactions and bond sales. Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s lawyer is holding a watching brief for the proceeding

Further Reading

Jho Low Gives Up $1 Billion in Assets to Settle 1MDB Suits (3)

Jho Low Invited Billionaire Arnault to Join Board: 1MDB Update

Long List of Charges Against Najib as 1MDB Trial Kicks Off (1)

To contact the reporter on this story: Hadi Azmi in Kuala Lumpur at klnews@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Yudith Ho at yho35@bloomberg.net, Anuradha Raghu

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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