Billionaire Najem told to enter defence
Wed, May 19, 2010
New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - Self-proclaimed Lebanese billionaire Elie Youssef Najem was yesterday ordered to enter his defence on two cheating charges and for an immigration offence.

Najem, 50, gained wide publicity in 2006 after pledging a S$432 million donation to the National Cancer Council (Makna) and claimed to have assets worth RM175 billion.

He was also charged with committing khalwat in the syariah court last month.

Yesterday, magistrate Mohd Azali Ibrahim ruled that the prosecution had proved a prima facie case against Najem on all three charges.

He is charged with cheating Tan Sim Chai, 64, by inducing Tan to hand over to him nine Maybank cheques totalling RM22,000, based on the assumption that Najem would pay back the loan once he secured money from foreign funds amounting to RM11,874,200.

Najem also faces a second cheating charge of inducing Tan into giving him RM13,000.

These offences were allegedly committed at an office in Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, between September 12 and 13, 2005.

The third charge is for misusing his social visit pass into Malaysia by taking up employment as a company director.

Azali fixed June 2nd for the hearing.

Najem's counsel S. Selvam said he would be calling only one witness - Najem himself.

Deputy public prosecutor Nor Aizam Aiza Zamran prosecuted.

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