Former second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah believed that former Prime Minister Najib Razak initiated sexual harassment and corruption allegations against him in 2016 for enquiring about 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and SRC International Sdn Bhd.
Husni, the 56th prosecution witness in the trial on transfers of money linked to SRC, was answering questions from Najib’s lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.
Husni said he resigned from the Cabinet on his own accord in June 2016 but spoke for about 30 minutes about the future of the country in the Dewan Rakyat during a sitting in October that year, in his capacity as Tambun MP.
Shafee then asked Husni whether he spoke in the legislature because he (Husni) was victimised.
Shafee: Were you upset that there were allegations against you?
Shafee: Did you associate these allegations with Najib over the sexual harassment against a female staff in your office and financial scandal?
Shafee: Was there a police report made against you for the sexual harassment?
At this juncture, ad-hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram objected to the line of questioning, saying it was irrelevant to the charges.
“These questions are intended to embarrass the witness,” he said.
Shafee replied that Husni had come to the court as an angry man to take revenge against Najib.
The lawyer said it was only Husni’s perception that Najib engineered the whole thing.
Trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali then ruled that the question on sexual harassment was scandalous and aimed at embarrassing the witness.
He said there was to be no more questions on the matter.
Earlier, Husni told the court that he first read in the newspaper on June 27, 2016, that Najib intended to move him out to another ministry.
“I met him after an Economic Council meeting on the same day and he informed me that I would be transferred to the housing and local government ministry,” he said.
“I said to the prime minister ‘Please sir, I have done the (1MDB) rationalisation plan.
“Nobody helped when we were in trouble, nobody helped you except myself. And I have only two years left before the 2018 general election. Let me stay there.
“The prime minister said ‘I want you to go to a new ministry for a new challenge,’ and I said ‘Please drop me, thank you’.”
Husni revealed that the transfer prompted his resignation.
He said he wanted to resign in 2015 but chose to remain in the Cabinet to complete the government’s rationalisation programme to settle the RM42 billion owed by 1MDB.
Husni admitted today that he lied when he said his resignation as second finance minister in 2016 was not due to the 1MDB scandal, because he wanted to cover for Najib.
“I wanted to cover the real story. I didn’t want to tell the true story to the newspapers, then they would write all kinds of things.
“I did not tell the truth, I was covering for the prime minister,” he told the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
Despite trying to cover for Najib, however, Husni alleged that Najib engineered a sexual harassment allegation against him.
He said this when Shafee zoomed in on his speech to the Dewan Rakyat on October 24, 2016, four months after he resigned from his ministerial post.
“I quit, but you see on social media, two days after I quit, they were attacking me for no reason, and I know who are the ‘ABC’ who attacked me. Why play this game?” he told the Dewan at the time.
Shafee asked what these allegations were about, to which Husni replied “money and women.”