Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 13

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The day’s key revelations include offences were committed under KWAP guidelines for approval of the billion-ringgit loan, and RM42 million was transferred to Najib’s personal account.

Chronology of Events:

8.53am: Najib, dressed in a blue suit, arrives.

Firdaus Latif

9am: Najib enters the courtroom and takes a seat at the front row of the public gallery.

Lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is seen entering with other members of the defence team.

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas is also seen taking his seat and conferring with other members of the prosecution team, including deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram.

9.07am: Najib enters the dock as judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali makes his way into the courtroom for the examination of 29th witness Amirul Imran Ahmat.

9.16am: Amirul testifies that on Mar 14, 2012, he received an email from former 1MDB finance director Terence Geh requesting approval to obtain further financing of RM2 billion, which was to be secured by a government guarantee.

Under examination by deputy public prosecutor Ishak Mohd Yusoff, the witness says that he received the resolution from SRC’s board of directors authorising the additional RM2 billion loan.

The resolution was dated Feb 17, 2012.

9.34am: Amirul says that on March 22, 2012, he received an email from SRC director Nik Faisal Ariff Nik Othman Ariff Kamil to the KWAP CEO stating that Najib had made a decision on the additional RM2 billion loan.

The witness testifies that he was ordered by then-superior the late Ahmad Norhisham Hassan to prepare a ‘surat pekeliling’ (circular) on the loan.

“It is to be one lump sum, based on discussion with the prime minister,” he says.

Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

Amirul adds that Najib was the chairperson of 1MDB’s board of advisers, in relation to the panel investment paper he prepared for the loan.

9.38am: Amirul says on March 20, 2012, KWAP chief Azian Noh told him that she had met with Najib, Wan Abdul Aziz and Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah where they discussed the loan to be disbursed through a progress payment.

9.48am: Subsequently, Nik Faisal sent three emails to Amirul about the various investments and IPOs that SRC was looking to invest with the money.

9.54am: Among them was a potential US$200 million (RM840 million) investment in ETT, then touted as the world’s largest coking coal listing.

9.58am: Another potential investment was in something called “Electrum”.

Nik Faisal said in the email it needed up to US$500 million for the first tranche plus US$1 billion for various subsidiary and company levels.

The investment was to be done jointly with Kuwait Investment Authority and Mubadala Development owned by the Abu Dhabi government.

The email ended with Nik Faisal stating that they were in advanced discussions for these investments.

10.05am: Amirul said he had never received loan requests from the government before, apart from this during his time in KWAP.

10.11am: On March 28, 2012, Amirul received a letter from the Finance Ministry stating that the government had given a guarantee that the RM2 billion be given to SRC International for 10 years and the loan approved by the cabinet on February 8, 2012.

The letter also requested that the RM2 billion be given to SRC first and that the ministry would issue the government guarantee letter within 10 days.

Amirul’s superiors told him on the same day that the RM2 billion had been banked into SRC International’s account.

According to Amirul, Najib signed the government guarantee letter for SRC’s second loan of RM2 billion from KWAP.

Amirul testifies that Najib signed the letter in his capacity as then-prime minister and finance minister.

The loan agreement document, he says, was signed between then-KWAP CEO Azian Mohd Noh and SRC director Suboh Md Yassin.

10.16am: Amirul tells the court that for the approval of the first RM2 billion loan, there was an offence committed under paragraph 5 of KWAP’s guidelines and policy manual.

SRC only had RM1 million equity but sought an RM4 billion loan, he says.

10.19am: The second offence was that KWAP investments in the form of loans cannot exceed 10% of its allocation of investment in domestic-fixed income.

The investments need not follow the guidelines as they had a government guarantee, he says.

10.23am: Amirul says during his time at KWAP, the RM4 billion loans to SRC were the biggest it had given out.

For the first loan, Amirul was asked to prepare an investment proposal paper for only RM1 billion. Later, he was asked to make one for RM2 billion. He said he didn’t know why his superior asked him to change it.

10.27am: Ishak asks Amirul why the need to know SRC’s investments before giving out the loans.

He answers that it was his job to know why it needed the money.

Amirul also clarifies and confirms with the prosecution that there were two loan requests from SRC.

The first was for RM3.95 billion, for which only RM2 billion was approved. There was another RM2 billion loan request which was approved.

Amirul tells the court that he only received about a quarter of the documents requested from SRC when preparing the approval for its loan applications.

He says he had to rely on whatever he received from SRC to prepare the investment papers to be presented to KWAP’s investment panel.

Ishak: Looking at the email exchanges as per your witness statement, you applied for a lot of information (from SRC). Did you receive them?

Amirul: I receive some, not all.

Ishak: In percentage, how much did you receive in estimation?

Amirul: 25 per cent.

Ishak: So you had to act based on this 25 per cent?

Amirul: Yes.

The witness says he was under pressure to prepare investment papers for the KWAP board on the loans to SRC.

“I was asked by management to expedite the application,” he says.

“There were a few meetings within a short span of time. Usually, if I miss one meeting, I can go for the next one. But here, I have to rush to every meeting.

“There was a lot of pressure to expedite the whole matter,” he tells the court.

Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali allows for the witness to be called back at a later date for cross-examination by defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh.

10.39am: Shafee asks the judge to stand down the witness and continue his cross-examination tomorrow as defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, who is supposed to conduct the cross-examination, is unable to be in court today due to food poisoning.

DPP Sithambaram also agrees to this and tells Nazlan that he can proceed with the next witness and Amirul can be cross-examined tomorrow.

Nazlan allows this and gives the court a recess of five minutes.

11.07am: Norhayati Mohd Yunus is the next witness. The Affin Bank branch manager at The Curve, Petaling Jaya, is also the 30th witness.

Afif Abd Halim/TMI

11.18am: She goes through transactions made by Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd’s account held in Affin Bank.

11.15am: Reading the statement for account No. 106180001108 from January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2015, Norhayati said there were credit transfers from Gandingan Mentari as follows: RM40 million on December 24, 2014, RM5 million on February 5, 2015, and RM5 million on February 6, 2015.

DPP Sulaiman Kho questions her.

11.32am: Norhayati confirms that there were three separate transfers totalling RM42 million from Ihsan Perdana to Najib’s two AmBank accounts between Dec 2014 and Feb 2015.

The three transfers from Ihsan Perdana were RM27 million on December 26, 2014, to Najib’s ‘880’ AmBank account; RM5 million on December 26, 2014, to Najib’s ‘906’ AmBank account; and RM10 million on February 10, 2015, to Najib’s ‘880’ AmBank account.

Ihsan Perdana was previously known as Gem Horizon Sdn Bhd before it changed to its current name.

Norhayati also tells the court that separate transfer forms for the RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million were all jointly signed by Shamsul Anwar Sulaiman and Abdul Aziz Ismail, authorised signatories of Ihsan Perdana’s account.

12.05pm: Ihsan Perdana’s managing director Shamsul Anwar Sulaiman appears in court to be identified by witness Norhayati Mohd Yunus.

Sunpix

Shamsul emerges from the witness room and looks calm when identified by Norhayati. He then temporarily gives his identification card to the judge.

After being identified, Shamsul walks back into the witness room.

It was reported in 2017 that the 1MDB special task force arrested Shamsul as part of a probe into the troubled state fund.

Farhan Read begins his cross-examination of Norhayati by asking her whether these transactions were made before GE13 or after. She said she was not sure.

12.17pm: Farhan asks Norhayati to verify statements from the account.

1.18pm: Court breaks for 30 minutes.

2.23pm: Court resumes with examination of Affin Bank accounts.

2.30pm: Farhan is clarifying the cheque processing methods with Norhayati.

3.10pm: Farhan wants to know if the authorities – Bank Negara and the MACC – quizzed her before or after the general election last year.

All the questioning took place before the elections, says Norhayati.

3.20pm: Norhayati says she does not know whether the money involved in transfers from Gandingan Mentari to Ihsan Perdana came from SRC.

The court had heard previous testimonies from bankers on money from SRC flowing into Gandingan Mentari’s account, before being transferred into Ihsan Perdana’s account.

Gandingan Mentari was an SRC subsidiary, while Ihsan Perdana was the corporate social responsibility arm of SRC.

3.35pm: Questioning for the day has stopped. Shafee explains to judge Nazlan that they have to go to the Court of Appeal tomorrow to hear the judgement to recuse Gopal Sri Ram from the 1MDB trial, and said that they will finish at 9.30am. They should be in court by 10.

Firdaus Latif

Nazlan ended proceedings for the day and court will resume at 10am instead of 9am tomorrow.


Earlier reports:

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