Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 46

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Former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu admits that she may have used RM55,000 of her own money to regularise Najib’s bank account.

Kamal Ariffin/TMI

9.03am: The accused Najib Abdul Razak enters the court and is seen conferring with his defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, as they await the beginning of proceedings.

9.13am: Najib enters the dock as proceedings begin.

Also seen in court are deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram and other members of the prosecution.

9.22am: Proceedings begin with Harvinderjit continuing day five of his cross-examination of former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu.

9.43am: They are going through chat logs of Yu’s conversations with Jho Low regarding Najib’s current accounts at AmBank.

Harvinderjit delves into a series of transfers in sterling that flowed into Najib’s AmBank account ending in ‘880’ the same year.

The lawyer seems to be trying to establish that Low played a key role in these transactions.

He suggests to Yu that the funds were “gifts”, and asks her which address she directed emails to former SRC International CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, the mandate holder of Najib’s accounts.

10.16am: Yu says that multiple foreign remittances flowing into Najib’s accounts in 2014 were not brought to Bank Negara’s attention.

Harvinderjit: These foreign remittances in 2014, no issue was raised with Bank Negara based on documents provided by Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and Low Taek Jho?

Yu: None were raised by the (AmBank) Remittance Department.

10.29am: Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi enters the public gallery.

He sits behind Najib and they exchange a few words.

Zahid is in the Kuala Lumpur court complex this morning for a hearing.

10.33am: The Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court has allowed Zahid’s application to transfer his case involving seven criminal charges, related to a foreign visa system, to the Shah Alam Sessions Court.

10.38am: Harvinderjit suggests that RM27 million from Permai Bina Raya is a donation and that Jho Low gave the instructions to transfer that sum into the ‘880’ account.

Yu agrees with that based on the chat logs and Rentas transactions.

10.40am: Zahid leaves the courtroom.

10.45am:  Harvinderjit is going through the chat logs of a conversation between Yu and Lee in the middle of 2014.

Harvinderjit: You used (the term) ‘boss’ for Low, implying that Low is in a superior position to Jerome Lee, (who) took instructions from Low?

10.51am: On September 10, 2014, there was a credit of RM5 million into the ‘906’ account from Putra Perdana construction. Before that transaction, the account was overdrawn by RM4 million.

Yu sends a message to Low’s secretary, Josie, and asks if she can spare RM3.8 million.

Josie said “no” and that’s a huge amount. Yu tells Josie that Low is not contactable.

Yu texts Low many times that morning.

She tells him the account is overdrawn by RM4.7 million and there’s not enough money in all three current accounts. She tells him RM3.8 million is needed because there was an RM5 million cheque written out to Umno.

Yu informs him the money must be in by afternoon or the cheque will bounce. Low responds that afternoon, telling her he’s on a plane and asks her what account he should wire the funds to.

He tells her Putra Perdana will issue the sum.

Low says “Datuk will reply” and Harvinderjit suggests that “Datuk” refers to Rosmah Mansor.

10.54am: Low told Yu to instruct former Putra Perdana group CEO Jerome Lee not to transfer RM5 million from Putra Perdana’s AmBank account but to do it via its Maybank accounts.

Low also instructed that Najib’s name should not appear in the transaction.

11am: Lee then told Yu that he was looking for the funds when she reached out to him.

He was under the impression that they needed RM4 million in the account and told her that he got RM3 million and was looking for another RM1 million.

Yu told him they actually needed RM5 million. Lee replied: “Aiyo”.

11.04am: Yu told Lee to rush as “Boss” needed to honour the issued RM3.8 million cheque.

“Boss” referred to Low and Lee said he was chasing it.

At 4.50pm that day, Lee managed to transfer RM5million into Putra Perdana’s Alliance bank account.

Court takes a short break.

11.35am: Court is back in session. Judge Nazlan allows the defence’s request to carry on through lunch for today and adjourn at 3pm as the defence has another matter at another court.

Harvinderjit continues his cross-examination.

He says the next line of questioning is to indicate that Low was controlling Putra Perdana as well.

Yu says it was Low calling the shots for Putra Perdana.

12.30pm: Harvinderjit asks Yu if she had funded RM55,000 of her own money because the ‘906’ account was overdrawn and she could not get in touch with anyone, such as either Low or his secretary Josie.

This happened on Sept 29, 2014, when Najib’s account was overdrawn by RM55,000, due to an RM80,000 cheque issued without sufficient balance.

According to BlackBerry Messenger chats with Josie, Jho Low’s secretary, Yu contacted Low to tell him about the need for cash to be deposited in Najib’s AmBank account.

Low then instructed Yu to get Kee Kok Thiam to provide the funds, but was told that he was unavailable as he was away in Malacca.

Kee had previously been identified as Low’s associate and was tasked with making cash deposits into Najib’s accounts. He is the subject of a civil forfeiture suit in Malaysia.

Low then told Yu to get hold of Josie, after which she learned that the secretary was also away, and could only deposit the funds the following day.

“I may need to help him fund first,” Yu told Josie.

Seth Akmal/TMI

Harvinderjit asks Yu to confirm this.

Harvinderjit: The RM55,000 did not come from Kee or Josie?

Yu: I can’t remember.

Harvinderjit: Again, I suggest, it came from you. And Josie paid you back the next day?

Yu: It may have been (the case).

The witness then confirms the veracity of another chat exchange between her and Josie, which took place the next day.

In the chat, Yu thanks Josie for repaying her the sum.

Harvinderjit asks her if this was in violation to standard operating procedures, Yu reluctantly agrees.

12.50pm: Yu defends herself by saying that she had to make sure that the cheques written out did not bounce as it was the prime minister’s cheques.

Harvinderjit rebuts by telling her that Low had never once told her that it was the prime minister’s accounts. He tells her to stick to the chat logs and not stray from them.

1pm: Harvinderjit suggests that since they tried to keep the accounts from being overdrawn, someone should have told Najib to stop issuing cheques if they were overdrawn.

Harvinderjit also suggests that if a person knew the balance of the accounts, then cheques would be issued within the balance amount.

He implies that Najib was not told of the balance in the accounts. Yu said he should have asked someone about the balance.

1.04pm: Yu also advised Low not to issue any more cheques but they still came from Najib.

1pm: Proceedings break for lunch and are expected to resume at 2pm.

The quicker lunch break is necessitated by Najib Abdul Razak’s lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Harvinderjit having to attend a separate hearing around 3pm.

This afternoon has been fixed for a decision on Attorney-General Tommy Thomas’ application to cite Shafee for contempt in relation to a media statement on Najib’s court case.

2.10pm: Proceedings resume after the shortened lunch break.

2.30pm: The deposits of over RM7 million into Najib’s AmBank account ending in ‘906’ were made in a “reactive manner”.

Yu tells Harvinderjit Singh that these deposits were made after Jho Low was informed that the account was overdrawn.

Harvinderjit: The 906 (account) had cash (deposits) from June 2014 to March 9, 2015, of about RM7 million?

Yu: Yes.

Harvinderjit: The deposits were done in a reactive manner when Low was informed that the account was at odds with the risk of cheque bouncing?

Yu: Yes.

2.36pm: They begin going through cash deposits into the AmBank account that ends in the number ‘880’.

2.42pm: Harvinderjit suggests that Yu had become “less cooperative” with Faisal and Low in January 2015 because her constant warnings of possible Anti-Money Laundering Act 2001 (AMLA) offences had fallen on deaf ears.

She agrees.

2.50pm: A total of RM12.37 million in cash was deposited into two AmBank accounts belonging to Najib between June 2014 and March 2015.

This, the court hears, was to ensure that the cheques he issued would not bounce.

According to Yu, the over-the-counter cash deposits were made in 19 transactions into Najib’s accounts, ending in ‘880’ and ‘906’, on the instruction of Jho Low.

Harvinderjit: Looking at what I have shown you, you will agree, everyone who brings cash in is on instruction from Low?

Yu: Yes, he was involved in arranging the deposits. So the cheques wouldn’t bounce.

Yu also agrees that all deposits by cheque were made on the same day she informed those depositing cash that Najib’s accounts were overdrawn.

3pm: The court stands down as Shafee has to appear at a separate court for a decision on his contempt charge.

Proceedings are expected to resume shortly after.

3.58pm: Proceedings resume.

4pm: Yu agrees when Harvinderjit suggests that money moved between Najib’s three accounts whenever there was an inflow of local or foreign funds.

Harvinderjit: The movement between the accounts (ending in ‘880’, ‘898’ and ‘906’) only took place after there were remittances of foreign or local funds into the accounts?

Yu: Usually.

Harvinderjit: In the beginning months, for the accounts ‘880’, ‘898’ and ‘906’, there was inter-account movement from the ‘880’ account to the others so the cheques would not bounce?

Yu: Yes.

Harvinderjit: Once the millions (in the ‘880’ account) were depleted, the inter-account movement only happened if there were foreign or local transfers arranged by Low Taek Jho?

Yu: Yes.

Harvinderjit: So cheques would not bounce?

Yu: Yes.

To a question from Harvinderjit, Yu says most of Low’s instructions were formalised by Faisal.

She also says that Low determines whether money went into accounts that were overdrawn.

4.10pm: Harvinderjit asks Yu if she agrees with the description that Nik Faisal was tacit and followed instructions from Low. She says that they had to email Low concerning every transaction.

Harvinderjit: Do you still maintain that Nik Faisal independently gave you instructions?

Yu: I don’t know.

Harvinderjit: Jho Low tells you to tell Nik what to say.

Yu: But I don’t tell Nik what to say.

4.44pm: Yu says she would tell Low not to issue cheques when accounts are overdrawn, but Low would tell her that he has no control over the accounts and cheques being written.

4.48pm: Harvinderjit asks Yu if she is aware that dealing with a third party who is not a mandate-holder is a criminal offence. She says she is aware of this.

This follows her previous statement that Faisal is officially the mandate-holder.

Harvinderjit asks her whether a provision existed to allow for an oral mandate-holder, such as Low.

She says no.

4.55pm: Harvinderjit: You are the one who outlined what needs to be done, Nik Faisal is just a rubber stamp, via his e-signature (among others)?

Yu: He did not rubber-stamp what I said.

Harvinderjit: Who drafted the letters of transfer?

Yu: Drafted by the bank, and signed by Nik Faisal so the cheques do not bounce.

Yu is referring to fund transfers between Najib’s AmBank accounts ending in ‘880’, ‘898’, and ‘906’.

5.15pm: The court hears that Yu had coached Faisal on what he should write to the bank in regards to operations concerning Najib’s bank accounts.

This is established during cross-examination by Harvinderjit when he walks Yu through a series of chat messages between her and Nik Faisal in 2015.

The chats include an instance where Yu had coached Faisal word-for-word what he should email the bank to tell them that funds would only be available the next day, while in another exchange, Yu told Faisal what he should reply to Yu’s then colleague Daniel Lee.

Yu then agrees to a suggestion by Harvinderjit that the messages read in court were evident that Faisal was someone “who knows nothing” other than what he was told to say.

5.19pm: Cross-examination is done for the day. Court is adjourned until 9am tomorrow.

Earlier reports:

July 29, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 45

July 25, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 44

July 24, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 43 Vacated

July 23, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 42

July 22, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 41

July 18, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 40

July 17, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 39

July 16, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 38

July 15, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 37

July 11, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 36

July 10, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 35

July 9, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 34

July 8, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 33

July 3, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 32

July 3, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 31

July 1, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 30

June 20, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 29

June 19, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 28

June 18, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 27

June 17, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 26

June 14, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 25

June 13, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 24

June 12, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 23

June 11, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 22

June 10, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 21

May 28, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 20

May 27, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 19

May 15, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 18

May 14, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 17

May 9, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 16

May 8, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 15

May 7, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 14

May 7, Najib Fails in Second Bid to Remove Sri Ram as 1MDB Lead Prosecutor

May 7, Najib Signed Guarantee Letter for RM2B KWAP Loan to SRC, KWAP Rules Breached

May 6, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 13

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