The prosecution closed its submissions today, emphasising that evidence pointed that Najib had received the gratification for his own discretion.
Former attorney general (AG) Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali’s integrity has been questioned after he previously exonerated Datuk Seri Najib Razak of misappropriating funds belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd when evidence proved otherwise, prosecutors told the Court of Appeal today.
Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram said this during rebuttal to Najib’s appeal hearing against his conviction and jail sentence for misappropriating RM42 million belonging to SRC International.
Sithambaram highlighted how Apandi, who is the 14th defence witness (DW14), had affirmed the two flow charts he held during his press conference to exonerate Najib on January 26, 2016, were the same flow charts tendered as evidence during the trial.
Apandi subsequently instructed the MACC investigations against Najib – who was the then prime minister, to be closed.
However, Sithambaram pointed out that the two flow charts which Apandi held up during the press conference clearly reflected how funds that entered Najib’s accounts were actually from SRC and not from Arab donations or any other source.
The SRC funds were transferred from one company to another before the trail ends in the former Umno president’s accounts.
Sithambaram said ironically the same flow charts used by Apandi to exonerate Najib were used by the prosecution in his SRC trial.
Sithambaram also told the appellate court that Apandi had revealed that his decision to exonerate Najib in 2016 was premature.
“During cross-examination, Apandi agreed that the decision he made was based on available material in the investigation papers as at January 26, 2016,” the lawyer said.
He had said that he was satisfied, inter alia, that there was no evidence to show Najib had abused his position to approve the government guarantees of RM4 billion loan to SRC from Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP).
High court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, who sentenced Najib to 12 years in prison and fined him RM210 million for misappropriation of RM42 million of SRC International funds, said Apandi’s evidence failed to cast a doubt on the prosecution case.
Sithambaram also noted how another witness, former MACC Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad, had testified that the MACC continued investigating the SRC matter even though Apandi had released Najib from all charges in Jan 2016.
He said Dzulkifli’s testimony showed that even though Apandi had exonerated Najib from any involvement in the SRC matter, the MACC was still firmly investigating the SRC and the RM2.6 billion 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case.
“Clearly the further investigation that was conducted resulted in the present charges,” he said during submissions in Najib’s appeal hearing today.
Similarly, Sithambaram added that the defence’s reliance on their third witness Irwan, then deputy secretary-general of the Finance Ministry, also failed.
“Irwan explicitly stated that throughout his tenure with the Finance Ministry, he had never personally come across a situation where a government guarantee was granted in favour of a newly established company with no track record or ability to repay the loan (referring to SRC).”
The prosecution closed its submissions today, emphasising that evidence decisively pointed Najib had therefore received the gratification for his own discretion.
The Pekan member of parliament is appealing against his 12-year jail sentence and RM210 million fine after being found guilty of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering involving RM42 million of SRC funds.
The appeal is being heard before a three-member bench, led by Judge Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil with the other two judges Datuk Has Zanah Mehat and Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.
Apr 15, Najib’s SRC appeal: SRC a sham