Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 50

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Former second finance minister claims Najib was behind a sexual harassment allegation against him and blogger Raja Petra attacking him.

9am: Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak enters the court and takes a seat in the front row of the public gallery.

Najjua Zulkefli/TMI

9.16am: Najib enters the dock as proceedings begin.

9.45am: The hearing resumes today with former second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah returning to the witness stand as the prosecution’s 56th witness.

After several questions by DPP Muhammad Izzat Fauzan to complete his examination-in-chief, the court hears Husni detailing his qualification in financial matters under cross-examination by lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Shafee then continues his line of questioning by asking the former Tambun MP the reason he quit the Cabinet in 2016.

Husni testifies that he told the then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak to drop him as Najib had wanted to transfer him to lead the ‘local government’ ministry.

He also denies media reports that cited he was going to be transferred to be in charge of the Economic Planning Unit under the Prime Minister’s Department.

“This is what came out from the mouth of the PM (that I’m going to be transferred to lead the local government ministry).”

Adding further, Husni tells the court that this was not the only reason for his resignation.

He says he intended to quit the Cabinet since 2015 when he was tasked to carry out rationalisation plan for 1MDB’s RM42 billion debt.

9.50am: The court hears from Husni that he had lied to the media and the public in 2016 when he said his resignation from the Cabinet did not have anything to do with 1MDB or SRC International.

He testifies that he did this out of respect for Najib.

“Yang Arif, do you want me to respect the PM or not?

“Out of respect, I mentioned to the press, it had nothing to do (with 1MDB and SRC),” Husni says when asked by Shafee on his remarks during media interviews and his speech in his constituency when he was the Tambun MP.

10am: Husni believes that Najib was behind allegation of sexual harassment against him.

Shafee is questioning Husni over a Hansard document on the latter’s speech at Parliament on 24 Oct 2016.

In the speech, Husni had complained that following his raising concerns about the way 1MDB is managed, he was hit by various serious allegations such as graft and a sexual harassment claim by a female staff of his.

Shafee: That is why you are upset?

Husni: Yes.

Shafee: You associate (the sexual harassment claim) with Najib?

Husni: Yes.

Shafee: Sexual harassment (allegation) by your own staff. You think Najib is behind the sexual harassment report against you by your own female staff?

Husni: Yes.

Shafee: There was a police report lodged against you?

Husni: Yes.

10.16am: Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali stops the defence from further cross-examining Husni over a sexual harassment allegation against the witness.

The ruling was issued following objections from DPP V Sithambaram, who likens the questioning to be scandalous in nature and not relevant to the main aspect of the RM42 million SRC International case against Najib.

“On the issue of the sexual allegation, it is scandalous in nature, so I disallow any question on it,” Nazlan rules.

Earlier, Shafee contended that the line of questioning was relevant in order to ascertain Husni’s credibility as a witness.

Shafee told Nazlan that the witness seems like an angry man and questions about his personal life is to establish credibility of the witness.

Shafee accused the witness of having an axe to grind and wants to ascertain why he is so angry.

Sithambaram had countered that the questioning should not be permitted as the answer by the witness, such as on the alleged female victim’s police report, has no bearing on Najib’s seven charges of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust, and money laundering.

Cross-examination continues with Shafee asking Husni about his role as a finance minister.

Husni replies that when he gets memos, he would always correct them. If those issues pertain to the PM, he would meet him personally.

Husni says he met the PM more than 20 times to convey his disagreements.

Najjua Zulkefli/TMI

10.45am: Husni says when memorandums from Cabinet meetings come to him, there are too many and too little time to read them all out.

He always requested for the memos earlier so he could go through them with a fine toothcomb. But that never happened.

Husni testifies that the Cabinet during his tenure rarely had a discussion on papers and merely agrees.

“There was no discussion, just table, then agree. It has been a reality of the Cabinet.”

10.50am: The court hears from Husni that he had raised his objection on SRC securing a government guarantee for its RM2 billion loan in 2011 with Najib.

Husni testifies that he raised his concern with Najib at the PM’s office instead of during a Cabinet meeting.

This was because Najib had the power to decide to withdraw the Cabinet paper for the guarantee, according to him.

Under cross-examination by Shafee, Husni is pressed on the circumstances why he did not raise his concern in the Cabinet meeting where the matter was tabled.

To this, Husni says “in politics, things are different”.

“When table, agrees. Except for 1MDB, then there were some clashes,” Husni says.

He is answering Shafee’s question about whether a Cabinet meeting that Husni attended had discussed on whether to approve the proposal for a government guarantee for Retirement Fund Inc’s (KWAP) RM2 billion loan to SRC.

Shafee: Don’t you think your views ought to be brought up with the Cabinet and not the PM directly?

Husni: If I raised it in Cabinet, it would give the people the perception is different. You give the PM the full power so I brought it up to him. Why must I talk to them?

Shafee asks if he’d ever heard of collective responsibility. Husni hits back: “You are not in politics, you do not know anything.”

11.10am: Husni testifies that he did not raise any objection when SRC applied for its second government guarantee for an additional RM2 billion loan from KWAP in 2012.

The reason being, according to him, was that there would be no use to do so.

“I know I cannot do anything,” he says, answering a question posed by Shafee.

Instead, Husni adds in his testimony, he took it upon himself to check how the monies loaned by KWAP to SRC was used by the company, including to check if its purported overseas investments really exist.

On Tuesday, Husni had during examination-in-chief by the prosecution testified he had suggested to Najib on taking a delegation to Switzerland to check on the money deposited there by SRC but was not approved.

11.20am: Court takes a short break.

11.39am: Shafee goes through the Cabinet paper on the RM2 billion KWAP loan.

11.43am: Husni says he was overseas when that paper was tabled, adding that he only checks memorandum papers he has to sign.

SRC is not under his purview, Husni tells the court.

11.59am: Husni says for the first RM2 billion loan, he didn’t know Najib had signed it off, as he was supposed to do it as the finance minister II.

12.16pm: Husni calls Najib an autocratic leader. Shafee cuts him off. Husni then addresses Nazlan and says he wants to explain a little more.

Shafee tells Husni this is not Parliament and that he should answer the questions.

12.25pm: Despite being allegedly told by Najib not to get involved in 1MDB and its subsidiaries, Husni was driven by a concern to keep tabs on SRC’s overseas investments.

Shafee is referring to paragraph seven of Husni’s written witness statement, where he said that he directed the Investment Department secretary Dr Isa Hussain to visit Jawa, Indonesia, to check on SRC’s investment there.

In paragraph six of the witness statement, Husni said that he was informed by a Finance Ministry officer that part of the RM4 billion loan to SRC was invested in coal mining in Jawa, among others.

Shafee: You still got involved, asking an officer to go and check on SRC’s investment in various parts (such as Jawa)?

Husni: Yes. I was concerned.

Shafee: You still got involved because you got concerned on SRC’s investment?

Husni: Concerned is enough la.

12.34pm: Husni says he tried to help recover the SRC funds in Switzerland. He says he had contacts with Swiss ministers and could use them to try and help.

12.40pm: Court breaks for lunch.

2.26pm: Proceedings resume with Husni back on the witness stand.

Shafee: When you left, you were quite upset? Do you agree?

Husni: I don’t agree.

Shafee: You not only left your Cabinet post, but every post in Umno?

Husni: Yes.

2.34pm: Husni says he was asked to defend his parliamentary seat of Tambun in the 2018 general election.

2.36pm: Husni agrees Najib did not show animosity when asking him to stand for the Tambun seat.

2.35pm: Husni testifies that Najib organised concerted personal attacks on him in late 2016.

Husni tells Shafee that following his speech on 1MDB at Dewan Rakyat in Oct 2016, the attacks began with blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin allegedly leaking minutes of an economic council meeting.

Husni says the first attack came from Tun Faisal Ismail, who was then CEO and chairperson of New Pantai Expressway, the concession holder of a highway.

Husni says the leak in Facebook involved the minutes of the meeting attended by his son Khalid Ahmad Husni, with the FB post claiming that Husni was angry with Najib as his son (Khalid) did not get a project.

“This (minute) went out through Raja Petra a few hours after the meeting, nobody was supposed to release it yet.

“When this was published in Utusan Malaysia, which is owned by Umno, I knew very well Umno control everything.

“In that report, it was mentioned that a former minister was involved in a scandal, that referred to me,” Husni says.

Husni says that the attacks suddenly stopped the same year right after he messaged Najib about it.

“In October or November (2016) I sent a message to Najib, asking him ‘What is this?’.”

“Najib then replied ‘Discuss with Nazri Aziz’.”

“The following day, no more attacks.”

“I sent a message to Najib, Najib said talk with Nazri. I replied that I could not talk with Nazri as he was overseas. Then the following day, there were no more attacks,” Husni says.

2.45pm: Despite Najib allegedly being behind character attacks on him, Husni testifies he had never been upset with the then premier.

He adds that he still even prays for Allah to open the door to Najib’s heart to see the light.

Shafee: You were upset with Najib?

Husni: No, never, that is an assumption. I live for Umno, people are small, (I was) never upset with Najib.

I still pray until today so that the door to Najib’s heart is open to see the truth.

I was never angry at Najib, he is a human being.

3.02pm: Shafee goes in to Nik Faisal. Husni says he didn’t know about Nik Faisal. He says Nik Faisal came to see him once and didn’t see him again after that.

Shafee suggests that Nik Faisal was recalcitrant.

3.05pm: Shafee asks Husni If he was aware that Najib was never invited to a SRC board meeting.

Husni says having an adviser emeritus on a board of directors is very unusual.

Shafee: Can you blame the PM for the misconduct of Nik Faisal?

Husni: I cannot say, but if you want me to say longer.

Shafee: No, no don’t, please don’t.

Shafee ends his cross-examination.

3.08pm: Now begins the re-examination by DPP Muhammad Izzat Fauzan.

3.10pm: Prosecution re-examines Husni.

Husni says he had thought about resigning for a year. He says he had wanted to solve the high-gearing (high ratio of debt to equity) of 1MDB. He says that he didn’t want to do it after a while, but was persuaded to stay on.

3.15pm: The court hears from Husni that among the reasons he resigned from the Cabinet in 2016 was due to the failure by then 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy to follow his rationalisation plan for the company.

He testifies that this includes the plan to sell some of 1MDB assets while maintaining some percentage of holding. The assets include Bandar Malaysia, TRX and Edra.

Husni says Najib, who ordered him to find solutions for 1MDB debts, had initially thanked him for coming up with the plan, but later handed over its implementation to Arul Kanda instead.

“He (Najib) hugged me, said that I did a good job. I then tabled it to the Cabinet, and the Cabinet agreed.

“And you want to know why I resigned, right? The plan was by me, but its implementation was not by me.

“(It was) done by Arul and approved by the PM,” he says.

3.32pm: Husni says he stayed away from involvement because Najib told him to do so.

He says although he signed memorandums, it doesn’t mean he was involved.

He says 1MDB and SRC were never spoken about.

3.36pm: Husni is released from the stand. Judge allows a short recess.

3.50pm: Court resumes. Sithambaram tells Nazlan that the last witness will be MACC investigating officer Rosli.

Sithambaram is seeking an adjournment for today to give them time to sort out 600 exhibits with the defence.

Nazlan adjourns court to 10am tomorrow.


Earlier reports:

Aug 6, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 49

Aug 5, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 48

Aug 1, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 47

July 31, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 46

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