Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s former speechwriter said he received RM22 million over three years for his services to the former prime minister, the High Court heard today.

Semarak Konsortium Satu founder Mohd Omar Mustapha, 51, said he received the payment for his international media consultancy services to Najib by way of 39 cheques from 2011 to 2014.

Omar said his work with Najib started after the government decided not to renew the contract with public relations firm APCO Worldwide.

“This decision came following the revelation that the government had spent RM76.8 million per year on APCO from July 2009 to June 2010.

“In March 2011, I identified a business opportunity and approached Najib to offer him international media team services and English speech writing.

“I presented these services on a cost upfront (reimbursable basis), where I would submit monthly expense claims and profit margins for reimbursement by him. Najib agreed to the arrangement.

“No contract was requested or signed for these services, and Najib did not request a contract either. This arrangement was based on a verbal agreement.”

He was testifying as a witness in Najib’s corruption trial of misappropriating RM2.3 billion belonging to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Omar, who graduated from Oxford University, said Najib was Semarak Konsortium’s sole client, and it was tasked with:

DRAFTING and refining speeches in English for Najib, whether in or outside the country;

COORDINATING matters with international media based in Malaysia;

ORGANISING interviews for Najib during visits abroad; and,

PROVIDIDING drafts of interviews or articles by Najib to international magazines or newspapers.

Omar said he never billed Najib or issued a receipt for the payments.

Najib, 69, is facing four charges of using his position to get bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The trial before judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues.

Source : NST

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