KUALA LUMPUR: 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) had wanted to recover the US$2.3bil (RM10.1bil at current rates) put into the investment company Bridge Global Absolute Return Fund SPC, the High Court has heard.

Former 1MDB company secretary Goh Gaik Kim, 54, said the matter was discussed at a meeting she attended on Nov 11, 2013.

The 17th prosecution witness, who was referred to the minutes of the meeting, said included in the agenda was a discussion on the directive of 1MDB board members to bring back the investment in Bridge Global Absolute Return Fund SPC to Malaysia.

“Former 1MDB chief executive officer Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman said there were no plans for the liquidation of the investment portfolio. He also said the first half-year dividend of about 3% had just been received.

“KPMG Malaysia, 1MDB’s audit firm, had also requested several documents to ensure that the 1MDB Group’s investment in Bridge Global Absolute Return Fund SPC had been recorded at fair value,” she said when reading out her witness statement at the trial of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak over charges of embezzling 1MDB funds worth RM2.3bil.

Previously, the court heard that KPMG had yet to sign off on the audit for 1MDB’s financial statement for the financial year ending March 31, 2013, as 1MDB had yet to provide the information that KPMG had been asking for since April 2013.

Earlier, Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah allowed the application of Najib’s lawyer, Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed, for Najib to be excused from attending the morning proceedings so that he could be at the funeral of his former chief private secretary, Tan Sri Ab Aziz Kassim.

Najib, 68, is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3bil from 1MDB and 21 charges of illegal money laundering involving the same amount.

The trial continues today. — Bernama