PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The defence team of former Malaysian premier Najib Razak has maintained that fugitive financier Low Taek Jho is the central figure in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal, refuting claims in an interview that he was merely a "victim".
Najib's defence lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said on Monday (Jan 6) that Jho, who is believed to be hiding in China and is also known as Jho Low, had lied in his interview with The Straits Times when he said others played a far bigger role in the scandal.
"I don't think he's telling the truth," he said.
Tan Sri Shafee believed that his client Najib was not getting the best defence as Mr Low and his alleged accomplices were missing from Malaysia.
Mr Shafee asked: "Is it purposely done to deprive my client of the best defence? These are witnesses my client can use by way of cross-examination and prove my client's case."
Najib is facing trial for the 1MDB scandal.
Mr Shafee also criticised Mr Low for playing the victim card.
"He says he is a victim because he is not a politician. That is totally rubbish.
"If you are not a politician, nobody would want to victimise you," he said.
Mr Low claimed in the interview that the charges brought against him over the financial scandal were politically motivated.
Mr Low faces charges in the United States and Malaysia for his alleged central role in defrauding up to US$4.5bil (S$6.2 billion) from 1MDB and the subject of the US Justice Department's largest-ever anti-kleptocracy case.