Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 36

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Data extracted from AmBank officer’s phone for Jho Low probe.

9.18am: Court is in session with defence counsel Farhan Read continuing his cross-examination of yesterday’s witness Wan Aziz, former chairperson of the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP).

Former prime minister Najib Razak, clad in a light blue suit, is seated in the dock.

Seth Akmal/TMI

Farhan goes through KWAP’s investment panel meetings with Aziz.

9.23am: Aziz says Ministry of Finance Inc (MoF) is directly under the Ministry of Finance and in his role as Treasury secretary-general, he had to recuse himself from an investor panel meeting to discuss the KWAP loan.

9.25am: Farhan asks if Aziz’s presence in the meeting would have stifled their decisions with regard to the loan approval.

Aziz says the meeting was “free flow” and they all could freely give their opinions.

He adds that he had to declare his interest as he was involved with KWAP and MoF Inc.

9.28am: For the second RM2 billion loan, the government guarantee was granted in February 2012 before SRC made a loan application to KWAP in March.

9.34am: The finance minister advised SRC to secure another RM2 billion loan from KWAP. This is stated in a directors’ circular resolution for SRC signed by its ex-CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil.

9.42am: Aziz is asked to confirm 100% that the signature of the directors’ resolutions of SRC is indeed Najib’s. He says yes, it was Najib’s.

KWAP had the directors’ resolution because Faisal submitted them to KWAP as part of the loan application.

9.45am: Farhan asks if Aziz can confirm or deny that Najib’s signatures were forged. Wan Aziz says he denies it.

10am: Aziz says it was a formality to approve the second RM2 billion KWAP loan because they already obtained the government guarantee.

He agrees with Farhan’s suggestion that they did not need Najib’s approval to grant the loan as the government guarantee was enough.

10.07am: The board of KWAP tried to limit the purpose of the loan from working capital to just “investment in natural resources”.

10.14am: Aziz agrees with the defence’s contention that Najib objected to SRC’s bid to amend the purpose of a second loan of RM2 billion from KWAP.

Seth Akmal/TMI

During cross-examination by Farhan, Aziz says that this is in relation to an April 12, 2012 meeting between KWAP, SRC, and the Finance Ministry.

Farhan: This meeting, it would not be right to say the meeting is an occasion to prepare (enlarge purpose of loan) about this matter. This meeting happened because a discrepancy (about the purpose of the loan) was picked by the legal department.

Aziz: Yes.

Farhan: (This was) the meeting where SRC sought the enlargement of the terms (purpose) but this was denied (by the other parties)?

Aziz: Yes.

Farhan: Najib was not okay with the SRC request to enlarge the terms?

Aziz: Yes.

Aziz also agrees with Farhan that Najib had no intention to enlarge the terms, nor was there any malicious reason behind the discrepancy, as it could have been a clerical issue.

He was referring to a purported discrepancy regarding the purpose of the second RM2 billion loan as agreed to by the cabinet in February 2012, when it consented to provide the government guarantee for the loan, and the actual initial loan terms.

10.30am: Aziz testifies that there was nothing wrong with the Finance Ministry asking the KWAP to disburse an RM2 billion loan to SRC in 2012 before the issuance of a government guarantee letter.

Under cross-examination by lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Aziz agrees that the government had previously proceeded with project works before matters of paperwork had been finalised.

This included projects under previous prime ministers, such as the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (Lima) project where several hotels on Langkawi Island were built before the land acquisition process had been completed, the court hears.

During cross-examination, Shafee asks Aziz to compare previous projects to the Finance Ministry letter requesting KWAP to consider disbursing a loan to SRC before the issuance of a government guarantee letter.

Shafee: (referring to Finance Ministry letter) Isn’t this the same issue of the government telling an entity that paperwork will follow, but to consider releasing (the loan) first? Quite analogous, not similar (to the other cases), but analogous?

Aziz: Yes.

Aziz also agrees that there was virtually no risk for KWAP to issue the loan first, as the matter involved three government-related entities.

10.45am: Despite being told to go through the normal process to apply for a loan from the KWAP, SRC still applied directly instead to then-prime minister Najib Abdul Razak in 2011, testifies Aziz during re-examination by DPP Suhaimi Ibrahim.

Suhaimi: Referring to Paragraph 16 of your Witness Statement, where you said you told (then Najib’s special aide) Azlin Alias about SRC International’s bid for a loan, you responded that SRC should go through the normal process, by writing formally to Azian (Mohd Noh, then KWAP CEO). In this case, the application was SRC’s first loan (RM2 billion in 2011). Despite that response, to whom was the application made?

Aziz: The application was directed to Najib Abdul Razak.

Suhaimi: It was made to the then-prime minister, not Azian.

Aziz: Yes.

11.06am: The witness is let go from the stand. Court takes a short break.

11.28am: The 46th witness takes the stand – Shuzairizman Shuib – an analyst in the digital forensics, system and methods department, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

Seth Akmal/TMI

His job is to analyse digital evidence for BNM investigations. He also helps carry out investigations under the BNM Act.

Suzairizman had confiscated digital devices from three AmBank officers during an operation on July 6, 2015.

The three individuals are Joanna Yu, Krystle Yap and an officer identified only as ‘Daniel’.

Devices taken from the AmBank officers include a BlackBerry phone confiscated from Yu, which is of high interest in the trial.

11.35am: Shuzairizman says he went to AmBank with a team. Once he reached the branch, they went to level 24 of the building.

They then met with Yu and he told her he was from BNM and wanted to retrieve her digital devices. He says that he met Yap but Daniel was on leave that day.

11.41am: Shuzairizman says other than the digital devices, they seized a 4GB thumb drive from Daniel.

He seized an 8GB thumb drive and Blackberry from Yu and a Samsung Galaxy phone from Yap, among others.

The items were brought back to his office and kept in a locker.

11.42am: Shuzairizman says two days later, BNM investigating officer Ahmad Farhan Sharifuddin asked him to carry out an analysis and extraction on the seized Blackberry.

11.56am: In the BlackBerry analysis, Shuzairizman couldn’t match the numbers of the contacts.

The contact numbers were not displayed, just the BlackBerry PIN. He couldn’t match the BlackBerry PINs with the name list he was given.

He wrote a report after the extraction and burned the information on a DVD.

The BlackBerry was in Shuzairizman’s possession but he gave it to Farhan, who later handed over the device to the MACC.

Shuzairizman testifies during examination-in-chief by DPP Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul that he extracted data from the confiscated BlackBerry phone based on a court order to facilitate investigations into Jho Low.

Ashrof: In April and May that year (2015), you received information from (Bank Negara officer Ahmad) Farhan (Sharifuddin)?

Shuzairizman: Yes, Farhan (who led the raid on AmBank) told me there was a court order, and a court order that involved me, to extract information from the BlackBerry Messenger (app).

Ashrof: Did Farhan explain the information (sought from the phone)?

Shuzairizman: Yes, he showed me the names.

Ashrof: Do you remember the names?

Shuzairizman: Joanna, Krystle, Daniel, and Jho Low.

Yu, Krystle Yap and Daniel Lee were AmBank relationship managers.

12.09pm: Defence counsel Harvinderjit begins his cross-examination of Shuzairizman.

12.21pm: Exchanges were made via text messages, not WhatsApp or Telegram, says Shuzairizman.

12.29pm: Shuzairizman says there’s “none specifically” when asked if there are chats between Yap and Yu regarding the case.

An external hard drive which he seized contained documents.

12.45pm: Shuzairizman says the instructions he received on the raid did not tell him to specifically look out for dealings with Jho Low and the others, only that it pertained to the prime minister.

1pm: Proceedings have paused for lunch.

2.38pm: Court resumes after lunch with Harvinderjit continuing his cross-examination of Shuzairizman. He is walking the officer through the raid he conducted with his team in 2015.

2.39pm: Shuzairizman says he was the first among the raiding party to enter AmBank and meet Joanna Yu.

2.42pm: He says he did not have to search for any of the items seized, as Joanna handed over all the items to him.

3.08pm: Harvinderjit goes through the witness’ report with all chat logs from Joanna Yu’s BlackBerry

3.27pm: Shuzairizman denies having leaked messages and emails linked to the 1MDB-related probe in 2015. The messages and emails were derived from a BlackBerry seized from Joanna Yu.

Harvinderjit: What happened in 2015, there was a leakage on BB (BlackBerry) messages and emails and so on, WhatsApp messages – where did they come from?

Shuzairizman: I do not know.

Harvinderjit: If you say that only you and the MACC have it (transcripts of messages from Yu’s phone), the leakages were not from your side?

Shuzairizman: Definitely not from me.

In 2015, The Wall Street Journal ran a series of exclusive articles quoting sources within Malaysia, which made use of leaked AmBank communications.

3.38pm: Harvinderjit asks judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali for the witness to be let go as he has yet to go through the 500-page chat transcript over the weekend and that he will continue his cross-examination on Monday. The prosecution does not object.

3.39pm: Nazlan allows a recess.

3.59pm: Trial resumes.

4.03pm: Harvinderjit applies to Nazlan on three points:

  1. For the witness to verify transactions from an AmBank Account ending in ‘694’.
  2. For the witness to verify money going out of the account to the tune of RM620 million.
  3. For the witness to confirm another six transactions amounting to RM50 million from the AmBank account ending in ‘880’.

4.32pm: Prosecutor Sithambaram objects to the application. He says the first two points are evidence relevant in the 1MDB trial and not this trial.

4.36pm: He says oral testimony from the witness is not admissible if there are no supporting documents.

4.51pm: Nazlan rules that details of credit transactions are admissible.

5.05pm: The court recalls 24th prosecution witness, AmBank Remittance Centre’s Rentas (real-time electronic transfer of funds and securities) Unit manager Wedani Senen, to the stand.

FMT

DPP Sulaiman Kho then continues the prosecution’s examination-in-chief of the witness, asking her to identify and confirm several new copies of banking documents that the prosecution is retendering as evidence in court.

The court then adjourns, with Wedani being released from the witness stand and told to return on Monday to continue with cross-examination by the defence.


Earlier reports:

July 10, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 35

July 9, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 34

July 8, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 33

July 3, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 32

July 3, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 31

July 1, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 30

June 20, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 29

June 19, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 28

June 18, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 27

June 17, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 26

June 14, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 25

June 13, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 24

June 12, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 23

June 11, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 22

June 10, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 21

May 28, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 20

May 27, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 19

May 15, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 18

May 14, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 17

May 9, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 16

May 8, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 15

May 7, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 14

May 7, Najib Fails in Second Bid to Remove Sri Ram as 1MDB Lead Prosecutor

May 7, Najib Signed Guarantee Letter for RM2B KWAP Loan to SRC, KWAP Rules Breached

May 6, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 13

May 2, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 12

May 2, RM1M Golden Handshake in Final Month as PM for Najib

Apr 30, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 11

Apr 29, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 10

Apr 29, Court Throws Out Najib’s Application to Strike Out 7 SRC Charges, Trial to Go On

Apr 25, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day Nine

Apr 24, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day Eight

Apr 24, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day Seven

Apr 22, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day Six

Apr 18, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day Five

Apr 17, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day Four

Apr 16, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day Three

Apr 15, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day Two

Apr 3, Najib Trial: Day One