Embattled former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is facing 25 new charges in relation to the controversial RM2.3 billion found in his personal accounts, has reiterated that he is not a thief.
“As we all know, the RM2.3 billion issue was used relentlessly to criticise and tarnish my name all this while.
“All the charges today will give me a chance to clear my name (and prove) that I am not a thief.
“I hope my journey in court will uphold the truth and silence this RM2.3 billion issue once and for all,” he said to reporters before leaving the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday.
Asked if he was confident of winning the case, Najib hoped that his ongoing court trial would be able to prove that the rule of law did indeed exist in Malaysia.
“I don’t want to make any statements that can be deemed as sub judice. But for me and my team of lawyers, God willing, we have the facts on our side,” he added.
Najib subsequently downplayed the charges he received yesterday, saying that once the public comprehended the facts and figures behind the case, they would realise that it was not such an “explosive” accusation.
The Pekan MP said the 25 charges was not something ‘shocking’ as it could be categorised into three stages.
“The first stage related to me receiving the illegal proceeds; second related to using illegal proceeds; and third, transferring the proceeds to other entities,” he said.
“Hopefully, we can see the truth after the trial,” Najib said, adding that he did not know whether his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor would be charged soon.
“I have no problems going through the legal process as long as I’m given justice and a chance to clear my name,” he said.
When asked about his chances of winning the case, Najib said he believed that the rule of law would prevail and would prove that he was innocent.
“I accept my fate that I need to face this trial.
“There are people who are luckier than me as his charges were dropped,” Najib said, referring to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s charges which were recently dropped.
He also thanked the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for the treatment he received during the investigation period.
“I did not sleep in the lockup room… I was inside the MACC’s building.”
MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki, meanwhile, said there are more 1MDB-related charges in the pipeline, but declined to identify the parties that would be charged.
“Probably there will be some more charges. But I cannot comment on who will be charged,” he told reporters outside the court complex.
He did not dismiss the possibility that Najib, along with Rosmah, would be facing more charges in the near future.
“I’m not denying that,” he said.
Najib’s lead defence lawyer, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, also spoke to the press, saying he was “surprised while delighted” with the charges against his client.
“It clearly shows that the authorities are desperate [and] simply bringing charges in relation to 1MDB,” he said.
“These charges are not well thought of because they show that the money transferred into Datuk Seri Najib’s account was later transferred back into the same account that he received from.
“This money was brought in because he (Najib) thought it was the promised donation from Saudi Arabia’s royal family. So after he was done using it, he returned the money,” claimed the counsel.
Muhammad Shafee also claimed that it is “bizarre” to allege Najib had abused his power as a public service officer when he was also chairing the 1MDB advisory board.
“The role of the advisory board was merely to advise, and any final decision has to go through the board of directors. The charges are not only incomplete, they are bizarre, and non-comprehensible. We are looking forward to a good fight,” he claimed.
“I am very confident that we can win. I don’t think they (the prosecution) can prove it,” he added.