Najib’s SRC appeal: Defence team scored their own goal in admitting the BBM chats as evidence

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BBM chats between Low and Yu strengthened the prosecution’s case against Najib.

Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s defence team “scored their own goal” in admitting as evidence the BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) chats linked to the RM42 million SRC International corruption case, the Court of Appeal heard today.

Deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram submitted this in relation to the former prime minister’s legal team succeeding in tendering as evidence the BBM chat transcripts between 1MDB-linked fugitive Low Taek Jho and former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu.

Previously, during the Kuala Lumpur High Court RM42 million SRC criminal trial against Najib, his legal team had applied to tender as evidence the BBM chats, to bolster his defence against seven charges of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust (CBT) and money laundering.

The DPP’s submission is in counter against Najib’s appeal to quash his conviction and sentencing over the RM42 million SRC graft case.

In his submission, Sithambaram said the BBM chats between Low and Yu strengthened the prosecution’s case against the former prime minister.

Yu, who used to manage Najib’s bank accounts, had testified for the prosecution in the SRC criminal trial.

“Najib admits that the Blackberry Messenger chats showed that Jho Low was in communication with him and through his late principal private secretary, Azlin Alias with regard to his bank balance.

“This is so that Najib could gauge how much he could spend based on the available balance in the accounts.

“This evidence is contrary to Najib’s mantra that he never knew his bank balance for the five years he used the accounts,” Sithambaram said.

“The numerous BBM chats between Yu and Low support the proof of actual knowledge on the part of the appellant regarding the status and transactions involving his personal accounts.

They (defence) alleged (the prosecution of) changing goalposts, but here (BBM chats), they scored their own goal,” Sithambaram submitted before the three-person Court of Appeal bench chaired by judge Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil.

The DPP said evidence had shown that Najib did nothing after he was informed that funds from SRC were deposited into his personal bank accounts.

Bernama

He said although Najib expressed shock and said he was upset when told so, he elected to do absolutely nothing about it.

“He did not lodge any police report of these wrongful deposits into his bank accounts…he did not make any enquiries with the bank…he did not file a complaint with the bank…he did not even attempt to take any legal action against the bank to establish the alleged unauthorised financial transactions in and out of his accounts which exposed him to a financial scandal and the commission of criminal offences.

“As the then sitting PM of Malaysia, he did nothing. This was not a small change of RM42 but a staggering sum of RM42 million whereby he failed to do anything.

“This was not an innocent omission or error by the appellant but a deliberate scheme to enrich himself with the funds belonging to SRC,” he said, adding that by his own conduct, Najib has proven that he had the knowledge and thus had committed the CBT offences.

On July 28 last year, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur convicted Najib on one count of abuse of power, three counts of CBT and three counts of money laundering in relation to RM42 million of funds from SRC

Trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali then sentenced Najib to 12 years in jail and a fine of RM210 million.

The lower court allowed the defence team’s application for a stay of the sentence pending the disposal of his appeal.

SRC, which was once a subsidiary of troubled sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, later became fully owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated.

Besides being former prime minister, Najib also used to be finance minister, SRC’s adviser emeritus, and chairperson of 1MDB’s board of advisers.


Earlier reports:

Apr 20, Najib’s SRC appeal: Defence nothing but a cock and bull story

Apr 15, Najib’s SRC appeal: Apandi actually held up proof of wrongdoing while declaring Najib’s innocence

Apr 15, Najib’s SRC appeal: SRC a sham

Apr 14, Najib’s SRC appeal: Najib had total control of SRC

Apr 14, Najib’s SRC appeal: SRC acted in Najib’s interest, not government’s

Apr 13, Najib’s SRC appeal: Defence claims High Court judge had “desire” to hold Najib to account

Apr 8, Najib’s SRC appeal: Judge reminds Najib’s lawyer not to repeat points already raised

Apr 7, Najib’s SRC appeal: Defence blames Jho Low for transfer of RM42m from SRC

Apr 6, Shafee in appeal: Judge in Najib’s SRC trial erred