“The King now knows its me …. so I have to go back and eat shit”!

The sensational PetroSaudi fraud trial, which has at times had the Swiss Federal Court sitting late into the night, finished neatly at the close of day on Friday.

Summing up, the lawyers for the two defendants Tarek Obaid and Patrick Mahony, both directors of the company, had repeated many of their earlier arguments, namely that the company co-owner, Tarek Obaid, had been working on the express instructions of the former King of Saudi Arabia when he helped plunder 1MDB of $1.83 billion dollars … and that Mahony was working for Obaid in turn, following those instructions.

To this was added a new suggestion, which was that the simplest checks by 1MDB managers could have revealed the sham situation with respect to their shell company PetroSaudi, which claimed to own a massive oil field in Turkmenistan worth billions of dollars when it did not.

As 1MDB didn’t check, which was easy to do, said the PetroSaudi defence lawyers (it has already been established that the boss, jailed ex-PM Najib Razak had instructed the fund’s key managers to assist in this theft) then there was “no trickery” involved.

Therefore, their argument progressed, the PetroSaudi directors could not be blamed for their complicity/duplicity.

It is all interesting, if possibly unconvincing, material for the three judges to consider for their verdict.

However, in their own summing up the prosecuting lawyers had sought to torpedo Obaid’s defence that he had merely acted on orders in his role as a secret agent for the King of Saudi Arabia, by using his own words in an email to his co-defendant Patrick Mahony in December 2009.

Self-damning email?

By way of context, the first 1MDB theft had been pushed through two months earlier in October of that year when one billion dollars was ‘invested’ by 1MDB in a bogus ‘joint venture’ with PetroSaudi.

$700 million was immediately siphoned off that payment into a company owned by Jho Low during the initial transfer. The remaining money went to PetroSaudi’s business ventures and Obaid’s personal accounts, never to return.

However, to cover up the theft in Malaysia, much had been made in the local media of the so-called joint venture being part of a ‘government to government’ strategic partnership between Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.

Tarek’s business partner and the co-owner of PetroSaudi was his pal Prince Turki, one of the Saudi King’s several sons, and it was on this association that the claims were based.

To shore up the facade Jho Low and his boss Najib had pressured Obaid and Prince Turki to arrange an official visit for Najib to Saudi Arabia which was now scheduled for January.

However, the directors of PetroSaudi, who had been so eager to take up Jho’s offer to “act as a front”, as Mahony had put it, began feeling the strain as word got back and questions started being asked in Saudi government circles – more specifically by the King himself – about what exactly was going on between this private company, part-owned by Prince Turki, and Malaysia?

We know about all this stress and discomfort because of an email produced by the 1MDB lawyer to counter Tarek’s claims in his summing up.

Far from showing him to be a secret emissary of King Abdullah (which Obaid’s lawyers had again attempted to prove by flashing pictures of him meeting Prince Charles and attending the Saudi Royal Court) the email shows that by December the young man had received a command from the Saudi palace to provide a personal explanation about what was going on!

Tarek revealed his fear and frustration at the command he had received to return to Saudi Arabia to explain to the monarch what he and his son had been getting up to in an email to Patrick Mahony.

Sarawak Report has obtained an exclusive copy of that email from the whistleblower Xavier Justo, in which Obaid describes the planned state visit by Najib as “this stupid visit”; panics  that “The King now knows its me and Prince Turki”; complains that Prince Turki had “obviously said it was all my idea so I have to go back and eat shit”; and more importantly laments that he was going to have to “explain myself to the big guy”… by whom he clearly means the Saudi King – who was supposed to have instructed him in the first place, if you believe Tarek and his lawyers: 

Dude – I am nerve wrecked dealing with this stupid visit, I have everybody on my ass wanting money and telling me its my responsibility on everything. The King now knows its me and pt [Prince Turki], and obviously pt said it was all my idea, so I have to go back and eat shit so my holiday is a nightmare, my bro is being himself, and really on a breakdown road in the worlds most relaxing place…….. So my paranoia is at new highs, and my mood is at a low unbelievable.
And more importantly, I have an audience to explain myself to the big guy……….. And this sucks because as usual nobody wants to deal with it but wants profits………..   [Tarek email to Patrick Mahony 14th Dec 2009]

In reply, Mahony expressed a prescient warning to his boss not to put such things in writing:“We need to talk about all of this and not do this by email”.

Never mind, the final thoughts left with the judge were that Patrick Mahony was just a young 32 year old finance genius, who had no reason to believe there was anything wrong with the deal as he had just followed instructions.

Also, that the youthful Obaid was in turn doing what the King of Saudi had instructed him to do.

As for the whistleblower, Xavier Justo, and his evidence, the defence lawyers once again begged the court to dismiss all the damning data from this case.

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