Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 10

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Millions of ringgit flowed in and out between three Ambank accounts linked to Najib’s case.

Chronology of Events:

8.48am: Wearing a light grey suit, Najib enters the court and takes a seat in the public gallery at the front row to await the start of proceedings.

Firdaus Latif

9.19am: Najib enters the dock as proceedings begin.

9.30am: Judge Nazlan dismisses the application to strike out the seven charges related to the alleged misappropriation of funds from SRC International.

Azlan Zamhari/Malaysiakini

9.32am: Attorney-General Tommy Thomas asks for the trial to begin at 9am and continue until 3pm, after the start of the fasting month on May 6.

Nazlan wants the trial to begin earlier.

Thomas offers 8.30am.

9.34am: Lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah says 8.30am would be difficult for his “support staff”.

Shafee suggests the trial start at 9am during fasting month and to have a 30-minute to 45-minute breaks “in consideration of our non-Muslim friends”, adding that “3pm is far too late for lunch hour for those who are going for lunch”.

He asks for a half-hour break during lunch for non-Muslims and for Muslims to pray.

9.38am: Nazlan and Thomas agree to start at 9am and continue until 3.30pm, with a half-hour break during noon.

Thomas says there are “far more days” needed for the trial, adding that Chief Judge of Malaya Zaharah Ibrahim has not given guidance over the trial dates for SRC International and the 1MDB trial, presided over by Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Colin Lawrence Sequerah.

He says May 14, 15, 17, 28 to 31 and June 10 onwards are allotted to Sequerah for the 1MDB trial to be used for the SRC International trial.

9.47am: Nazlan says he has no issue with the date transfers but Sequerah must agree to this matter.

Thomas says he has prepared a letter to be sent out and would formally apply for new SRC International dates with Sequerah at 9am tomorrow with the new dates requested as May 14, 15, 17, 28 to 31 and June 10 to 21.

Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

9.48am: Defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh corrects Thomas – June 10 to 14 and 18 to 21.

9.51am: Nazlan notes that there are further trial dates for Najib’s IPIC trial in July.

Shafee says Sequerah usually attends to open court matters at 9.30am and is in chambers before then.

Nazlan says “whenever it is over”, then the SRC International trial can proceed.

9.52am: Harvinderjit begins cross-examining AmBank Raja Chulan branch manager Uma Devi.

9.58am: Harvinderjit reaffirms with Uma the relationship managers for SRC International (Joanna Yu, Krystal Yap and Daniel Lee). He asks if she is aware that they are the same team that handled the 1MDB accounts.

Uma agrees.

10am: Harvinderjit asks Uma if she is aware if the trio also handled Yayasan Gemilang’s account.

Uma says no.

10.23am: Harvinderjit grills Uma on the practice and processes for debit and credit transactions.

10.33am: Harvinderjit asks Uma if she agrees that only the designated signatories could operate an account.

Harvinderjit: Only they can call for money to be taken from the account?

Uma: Yes.

Harvinderjit: We know companies have shareholders. The shareholder cannot remove the money out from the account?

Uma: Yes.

Harvinderjit: Will the bank honour if the signatures were interchanged?

Uma: Nope.

11.24am: Harvinderjit goes through documents with Uma and verifying names of directors and dates of account opening of SRC International.

Harvinderjit asks Uma if she knows SRC International was a subsidiary of 1MDB, to which she replies “don’t know”.

Later, Uma agrees that she knew SRC International became a subsidiary of 1MDB after May 2011.

12.02pm: Speaking about Gandingan Mentari’s opening form, Harvinderjit tells Uma there is a difference in signature between this account and account “650” (SRC International’s), although the signatories are the same – Nik Faisal and Suboh Md Yasin.

12.22pm: While Harvinderjit is questioning the witness about Gandingan Mentari’s account, Uma says the account was listed as high risk.

Hence, the bank through its compliance department monitored the account closely.

Najjua Zulkefli/TMI

Najib relaxing with supporters during a recess.

1pm: Lunch break. Court to resume at 2.15pm.

2.30pm: Court is in session. Harvinderjit continues cross-examination.

2.50pm: Harvinderjit is scrutinising all the transactions of SRC International, Gandingan Mentari and Ihsan Perdana. He is comparing signatures, instruction letters, and emails between SRC officials, relationship managers and AmBank branch.

3.24pm: The issue of Najib returning US$620 million to a purported Saudi donor arises.

Harvinderjit reads out the contents of an alleged letter from Najib dated July 30, 2013.

“I convey to you (AmBank) the instruction to convert funds in the current account of US$620 million, and to remit the foreign currency in a single transfer of personal gift I received per the authorisation letter,” the lawyer recites.

Speaking to Uma, Harvinderjit then points out that there seemed to be inconsistencies between this letter and another letter that appeared to point to multiple transactions.

“Do you agree that it appears the bank had acknowledged this amount of money credited in the account was a donation and gift, and (that there was) a representation to the bank in 2013, ‘I am returning the unutilised portion back’?” Harvinderjit says, adding that this implies the money was returned to the sender.

Uma Devi says yes.

Back in 2013, Najib was embroiled in a controversy surrounding a US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) donation, purportedly received from the late Saudi monarch, King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Saud.

In that year, Najib said he received the monies in his personal accounts in March 2013, just before the 13th general election.

He had claimed that the unused portion of the money, amounting to US$620 million, was returned to the Saudis.

Harvinderjit is referring to signatures on an indemnity letter and says there’s no ‘loop’ in the signatures.

He asks Uma to confirm by looking at the copy. She confirms there’s no ‘loop’.

He then asks Uma if those documents allowed Nik Faisal to do internal transfer between the three accounts and if she could not tell if it’s signed by Najib. Uma agrees.

5pm: On July 24, 2014, a total of RM3 million was transferred to Najib’s AmBank accounts. Referring to the transfer instruction letter for account number 880 by Nik Faisal dated June 23, 2014, which instructed AmBank to transfer RM1 million to account 898 and RM2 million to account 906, Harvinderjit asks if it would be unusual if the letter was dated 1 month before the transaction.

Uma: It is not normal. But there are customers who would do that.

Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

5.15pm: Harvinderjit asks whether millions of ringgit flowed in and out between three Ambank accounts linked to Najib’s case, in order to cover overdrafts.

Harvinderjit: In summary, money moved in and out between three accounts to cover overdrafts in accounts ending with 880 and 906, among others?

Uma Devi: Yes.

5.20pm: Harvinderjit says someone knew that money would be coming into Najib’s accounts based on the instruction letter.

Referring to the statement of Najib’s 880 account, Harvinderjit says that there were balances around RM60,000 on February 5th, 2015. He says there were insufficient funds to make the RM10 million transactions to account 906 on February 10, 2015.

Hence, Harvinderjit says: “the person who drafted the letter knew that there will be money in the account the next day.”

Uma says that Daniel Lee, who was the relationship manager, was responsible for all internal account transfer.

5.30pm: Court is adjourned, to resume at 9am tomorrow.

Earlier reports:

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