Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 66

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Najib escapes impeachment, then gets into a heated exchange with DPP over statement to MACC.

9.02am: Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak enters the Kuala Lumpur High Court and takes a seat at the front row of the public gallery to await the beginning of proceedings.

Mukhriz Hazim/Malaysiakini

Also seen in court is Attorney-General Tommy Thomas and other members of the prosecution team, as well as members of the accused’s defence team.

9.47am: DPP V Sithambaram applies for impeachment proceeding against Najib over his testimony which allegedly contradicted his statement to the MACC.

The prosecutor seeks to do so after Najib admits to the discrepancies in his witness statement to the court and what he told investigators about his signatures on several crucial documents related to the SRC International Sdn Bhd affair.

Although Najib had testified that he informed the MACC at the time that the signature appeared to be his, he is now asking the court to allow a foreign expert to confirm it this was indeed the case.

Previously, Najib testified that he informed the MACC then that the signatures appeared to be his.

10.03am: Najib’s lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and DPP V Sithambaram continue to argue over whether the court should hear the prosecution’s impeachment application against Najib.

Shafee accuses the prosecution of attempting to stop the defence from calling an expert witness to examine signatures on several documents that had allegedly been signed by Najib.

Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali then allowed a 30-minute adjournment for the defence to prepare for submission on impeachment process.

10.54am: Proceedings resume after a brief break, with the High Court now expected to hear Najib’s defence team’s counter-submission against the prosecution’s bid to impeach the accused as a reliable witness.

11.10am: Prosecution submits their argument on why the court should deliberate into the application to impeach Najib.

Sithambaram tells the court that Najib had given different versions of his statement during MACC investigation and to the court.

This, according to him, is why the court should take a look into Najib’s statement to the authority and compare it with his testimony in court.

Sithambaram says that Najib himself had during cross-examination agreed that there were contradictions.

“So, until the MACC statement is seen by my lordship, my friend (defence lawyer) cannot preempt my application for the court to look at the statement.

“Especially (when) the accused himself agreed there is contradiction between his statement and MACC statement,” says Sithambaram.

The government attorney also claims that contradiction in Najib’s supplementary statement and the MACC statement had also not been explained.

“I pray we will take the first step by underlining the portions in MACC statement for my lord to look at and make preliminary decision”.

11.30am: The prosecution’s bid to impeach accused Najib Abdul Razak for alleged material contradiction in his testimony is frivolous, the High Court hears.

Najib’s defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh argues that the court should not allow the impeachment bid as the accused has already explained the alleged contradiction.

“The issue in question is whether there has been a contradiction, there is no material contradiction as he (Najib) has explained it.

“He is not saying he did not sign, he is saying he doubts the authenticity (of the signatures on the documents) and wished for a (handwriting expert) to look at it,” Harvinderjit argues.

11.52am: Shafee argues that the prosecution’s impeachment bid against the accused was not done in good faith.

Shafee says this is because the prosecution only made the application today, just a day before the High Court tomorrow is set to hear Najib’s bid for an Australian handwriting expert to examine crucial SRC documents that allegedly were signed by Najib.

Previously, it was reported that Najib’s defence team made an application for the court to allow the expert to examine the various documents which were purported signed by Najib.

“There is lack of bona fide (good faith) in the (impeachment) application due to the impending (hearing) of (Najib’s) application tomorrow for the expert to look at the various documents related to (Najib’s) signatures.

“I warn the other side (prosecution) that this (impeachment bid) is precisely what would bolster our application tomorrow,” Shafee argues.

12.32pm: The Kuala Lumpur High Court allows the prosecution’s bid to commence impeachment proceedings against Najib.

“Having looked at submissions, I find the prosecution’s application to initiate impeachment process against the accused in respect of alleged contradiction in his Supplementary Witness Statement and the statement he gave to MACC is not without merit.

“The court is to be shown the (alleged) statement containing the alleged contradiction in his Supplementary Witness Statement and the Statement to MACC on how the matter is to progress,” Nazlan said.

The court will now look at the alleged documents showing the contradiction.

The court also set 2pm for the impeachment proceeding.

The proceedings now adjourn for lunch.

2.44pm: Proceedings resume after lunch break.

2.47pm: The High Court dismisses the prosecution’s bid to impeach Najib.

Nazlan rules that the alleged contradictions are reconcilable as Najib has given his explanation on the alleged discrepancy.

“In my view, they (alleged discrepancy) are not irreconcilable as the apparent change (in testimony) in his (accused’s) Supplementary Witness Statement on whether he signed (the crucial SRC documents).

“I find no material contradiction and it is not serious,” Nazlan rules.

After delivering the ruling, the judge orders the prosecution to continue with cross-examination of Najib.

3.39pm: Proceedings takes a 10-minute break.

3.35pm: Heated argument, including raised voice, ensues for over 10 minutes as the prosecution continues its cross-examination on Najib, focusing on statements the former premier had previously made to the MACC.

Sithambaram is seen pressing Najib to answer on whether he had indeed admitted to investigators that he recognised several documents related to SRC and agreed that they were signed by him.

However, Najib keeps reiterating that during MACC’s questioning, he was only shown the documents briefly and had made such a statement then just because he saw signatures resembling his on the papers.

This appears to irk the DPP, who then puts to Najib that he was not only shown the documents briefly but had read them through before making the statements.

Najib, however, disagrees with this suggestion.

Sithambaram: I put to you, these documents when shown to you, (they) were not shown to you “secara ringkas” (briefly).

Najib: Disagree.

The argument continues as Najib tries to assert that he could not remember everything, and that he signed tens of documents every day in his capacity as the prime minister and finance minister during the material time.

“I (can) vaguely remember. But I was basing (the statement) on my signature. I signed tens of documents every day as the PM and finance minister,” Najib says, in an attempt to defend his point that he had made the admission to MACC based on the signatures resembling his on the documents.

3.59pm: Proceedings resume after a brief break.

4.36pm:  Sithambaram’s cross-examination focuses on getting confirmation from Najib over multiple documents linked to the RM42 million SRC case.

Among these documents are ones linked to the government guarantee for the second tranche of RM2 billion loan from Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) to SRC in early 2012, as well as on the setting up of the company and appointment of its directors.

4.54pm:  Nazlan allows adjournment of proceedings for today.

He also allows an application by both the prosecution and defence teams to postpone tomorrow’s scheduled hearing of Najib’s application for an Australian handwriting expert to ascertain the authenticity of the accused’s purported signatures on key SRC documents.

He postponed the hearing of the application from tomorrow to Jan 20, to allow the prosecution time to file reply to the application.

The trial will start around 9.30am tomorrow as Najib and his defence team need to attend to an earlier mention of the accused’s RM2.28 billion 1MDB case before Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.

Earlier reports:

Jan 6, Prosecution’s Application to Impeach Najib Dismissed, Judge Ruled No Contradictions Given

Dec 20, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 65

Dec 18, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 64

Dec 18, Najib’s Defence Like Infamous VK Lingam’s Looks Like Me, Sounds Like Me, but Not Me

Dec 12, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 63

Dec 10, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 62

Dec 10, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 61

Dec 9, RM500K Birthday Watch for Rosmah, RM3.3M Jewellery Gift for Ex-Qatar PM’s Wife

Dec 5, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 60

Dec 3, Najb’s SRC Trial: Day 59

Dec 3, Najib’s Day in Court

Aug 27, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 58

Aug 23, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 57

Aug 22, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 56

Aug 20, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 55

Aug 19, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 54

Aug 14, SRC Trial Postponed as Najib Down with Sore Eyes

Aug 13, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 52

Aug 9, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 51

Aug 7, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 50

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