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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Yudith Ho at, Anuradha Raghu

For more articles like this, please visit us at

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


More Related News

Citi's $900 Million 'Clerical Error' Is Worst Wall Street Bungle in a Long Time

(Bloomberg) -- Even for Citigroup Inc., it was big money. On Wednesday, loan operations staff at the New York bank wired $900 million, seemingly on behalf of Revlon Inc., to lenders of the troubled cosmetics giant controlled by billionaire Ron Perelman.It was a mistake for the ages -- a "clerical error," as Citigroup told lenders -- that's now plunged the bank into a battle between the Perelman empire and a corps of sharp-edged investment funds that have become its impatient creditors.One financier involved likened the surprise payment to finding a fortune on the sidewalk. And, as of late Friday, several hedge funds who claim Revlon was in default on the loan were showing no signs that...

Hijacking Bankers to Catch Swindlers Won
Hijacking Bankers to Catch Swindlers Won't Work

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Corporate chicanery appears in multiple forms and with unfailing regularity: think Enron Corp. or Wirecard AG. What bedevils capitalism in India is the propensity of some investors to cheat all other stakeholders.In good times, "promoters" - as controlling shareholders are known in local law - puff up project costs and award contracts to related parties, draining profits away from the company. The extraordinary effort that entrepreneurs put in to beat the country's legendary red tape provides, at least in some minds, a justification for helping themselves to an outsize share of the spoils. A highly opaque system of election financing gives politicians a stake in...

Berkshire Makes a Bet on Gold Market That Buffett Once Mocked
Berkshire Makes a Bet on Gold Market That Buffett Once Mocked

(Bloomberg) -- Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. added Barrick Gold Corp. to its portfolio in the second quarter, sending shares of the world's second-largest miner of the metal surging.Berkshire took a new position in Barrick, buying 20.9 million shares, or 1.2% of the company's outstanding stock, with a current market value of $565 million, according to a regulatory filing on Friday. The filing shows moves made by Buffett or his two investing deputies, Todd Combs or Ted Weschler.In the past, Buffett, the billionaire chairman of Berkshire, cautioned against investing in the metal because it's not productive like a farm or a company. Now, gold miners are benefiting from surging...

Boris Johnson Has No Choice on Reopening Schools
Boris Johnson Has No Choice on Reopening Schools

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- One formerly obscure American presidential candidate, Warren G. Harding, won his place in history and his election by promising "a return to normalcy" after the disruption of World War One. Boris Johnson, fighting a far from glorious battle against Covid-19, knows that doing similar for the U.K. is key to his own future. Unless British children go back into the classroom next month, he will fail.Brits have been much slower to return to the workplace than comparable nations such as France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The country's indoor social-distancing rule of two meters hasn't helped. A Morgan Stanley poll of office staff in all five countries suggests the U.K....

Why the UAE Chose to Normalize Relations With Israel
Why the UAE Chose to Normalize Relations With Israel
  • World
  • 2020-08-13 19:15:24Z

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- For President Donald Trump's critics and supporters of Palestinian nationalism, there will be a temptation to spin today's historic normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates as a setback for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Following the announcement of Trump's Middle East peace plan earlier this year, Netanyahu began the process of annexing parts of the West Bank, a process he said the plan authorized. The White House urged him to reconsider. He pressed on.Now it is revealed that, as part of the agreement with the UAE, Israel has agreed to "suspend declaring sovereignty" over areas outlined in Trump's January plan. Netanyahu later...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Latin America