Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 72

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Najib claims he did not know the RM42 million in his accounts was SRC’s money, but he spent it all.

9.06am: Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak enters the Kuala Lumpur High Court and takes a seat at the front row of the public gallery.

Najjua Zulkefli/TMI

Also seen in court are Attorney-General Tommy Thomas and other DPPs, as well as members of Najib’s defence team.

9.35am: Najib enters the dock as proceedings begin.

9.40am: Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali delivers his decision on an application by Najib to call for an expert witness to examine signatures on seven disputed documents.

In his ruling, Nazlan tells the court that he decided to allow Najib’s application as an accused is entitled to procure any relevant evidence of his choice in his defence.

However, he adds, the weight of evidence given by the witness would be determined by the court at the end of the case.

The court would also weigh if the credibility of Najib’s defence is adversely affected by any afterthought.

Nazlan also ruled that the prosecution is allowed to call a rebuttal witness as provided under Section 425 of the Criminal Procedure Code if they wish to do so.

Nazlan then orders the defence to arrange for the expert to examine the documents without interfering with the trial proceedings. This is to be done within two days before Feb 3.

10.01am: Najib testifies that he never gave direct instruction to Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) to issue a second tranche of RM2 billion loan to SRC.

He says this during cross-examination by DPP V Sithambaram.

Sithambaram is questioning Najib on whether he had exerted subtle pressure on then-Treasury secretary-general Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah for KWAP to grant the second loan.

KWAP first gave an RM2 billion loan to SRC in late 2011, and a second RM2 billion loan in early 2012. Najib was then SRC advisor emeritus.

Najib: When I referred to KWAP, they must go through due process.

Sithambaram: But this is where the prime minister (Najib) called the chairperson of the board about SRC needing a loan?

Najib: I never gave direct instruction. It is for them (KWAP) to look into it.

Sithambaram: He (Wan Abdul Aziz) is bound to consider it (RM2 billion loan from KWAP to SRC) favourably.

Najib: No, at that time, they have to decide on the merits of the case. So, I disagree.

10.25am: Najib agrees that two shareholder minutes approving RM1.8 billion of SRC funds to be sent overseas shared the same date as the company’s directors’ circular resolution deciding to do so on Feb 13, 2012.

Under cross-examination by the prosecution, Najib also agrees that the shareholder minutes, marked as D534 and D535 in the trial, were attached in the directors’ resolution.

However, Najib says he could not be certain which document came first. He also disagrees that the shareholder minutes must have come first as it was attached in SRC directors’ resolution.

10.48am: Najib disagrees that Malaysian political feudalism permeated the early disbursement of the second RM2 billion loan from KWAP to SRC.

During cross-examination Sithambaram, Najib says this over the disbursement done even before a cabinet approval for a government guarantee for the second loan in early 2012.

Sithambaram is asking Najib about him contacting Wan Abdul Aziz for early disbursement of the RM2 billion loan.

KWAP issued the first tranche of RM2 billion loan to SRC in late 2011, and the second tranche of RM2 billion loan in early 2012.

Sithambaram: This is Malaysian political feudalism.

Najib: No, no, I disagree as there were times they (KWAP) disagreed with me.

Sithambaram: Quite feudal, they listen to the boss.

Najib: Yes, but they can give their opinion. When I give an instruction, they can disagree with me.

Sithambaram: We all know (what happened to those) who disagreed with you.

11.07am: Najib reiterates that he did not know that the RM42 million that flowed into his bank accounts between late 2014 and late 2015 was SRC’s money.

He says that he did now know then that the RM27 million, RM10 million and RM5 million that went into his accounts were from SRC.

Najib: I did not know it was SRC money (loudly). I only knew later.

Sithambaram: Did you spend every sen of it (RM27 million that went into Najib’s account)?

Najib: Yes.

Sithambaram: You spent every sen of the RM5 million?

Najib: Yes, at that time, I did not know.

Sithambaram: RM27 million came in and you spent RM27 million?

Najib: I did not know it was SRC money.

11.17am: Proceedings adjourn for a short break.

11.55am: Proceedings resume.

12.15pm: Najib says he was not shocked to know that former SRC CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and his then principal private secretary Azlin Alias had kept secret about RM32 million going into and out of his bank accounts in 2014.

Najib testifies this under cross-examination by Sithambaram, who was querying him about a total of RM32 million that flowed from SRC funds into Najib’s AmBank accounts in Dec 2014, and was later debited from the accounts.

Najib, however, stands fast with his defence that he had no knowledge about the transactions amounting to RM32 million, saying that he did not receive the bank statements.

He reiterates that Faisal was managing the account, while Azlin supervised.

Sithambaram: RM32 million was debited from your accounts, they didn’t tell you and you didn’t find it shocking?

Najib: No.

Sithambaram: So the mandate holder and Azlin can keep away from you large funds going in and leaving your account, and you don’t find it shocking, correct sir?

Najib: Yes.

12.39pm: Najib says that he did not allow second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah to go to Switzerland to try and get back RM3.6 billion of SRC’s funds there because Husni did not have a proper plan which required a paper to be presented to the cabinet first.

Najib: I wanted him (Husni) to tell me in detail how he wanted to do it.

Sithambaram: So, he needed a big plan?

Najib: Submit a proper plan and give to the cabinet. But he had no proper plan.

Sithambaram: This involved pensioners (KWAP money). This sounds like a James Bond film. This is just ‘G to G’ (government to government).

Najib: You have to prepare a cabinet paper before going.

During the prosecution stage of trial last year, Husni testified that Najib prevented him from heading to Switzerland to try and get back RM3.6 billion of SRC’s funds frozen there.

Those funds were part of the RM4 billion in loans that KWAP lent to SRC between late 2011 and early 2012.

12.45pm: Proceedings adjourn for lunch.

2.28pm: Proceedings resume.

2.49pm: Najib testifies that he used his own credit card to pay for a gift for the wife of then Qatar prime minister as he wanted to avoid using public funds.

Sithambaram is questioning Najib over the use of the credit card to pay RM3.2 million for a gift purchased at De Grisogono, Italy, to be given to the wife of Sheikh Ahmed Jassim Al Thani in 2014.

The DPP is also asking Najib what was the purpose of the credit card account he opened with AmBank.

Sithambaram: Gifts for heads of states are to come out of government coffers. The prime minister is not expected to use his own salary.

Najib: There is this account (credit card) and I did not want to use public funds to buy a gift for (the wife of) the prime minister of Qatar. He was a close friend of mine.

Najib reiterates that the gift was expensive and did not want to use public money.

3.05pm: The court hears from Najib that in 2014 he was alerted to Faisal having an issue of integrity in managing the company.

Najib agrees that he was informed about this by the then chairperson of SRC board of directors, Ismee Ismail.

Ismee had told this to Najib through Azlin.

“Yes, that was why I changed him (Faisal) (from being CEO of SRC),” Najib says when being examined by Sithambaram.

However, despite Faisal also being the mandated person to manage Najib’s bank accounts with AmIslamic Bank then, Najib agreed that he did not change the mandate holder.

According to Najib, he had kept Faisal to manage his accounts as the issues of integrity brought to his attention then only involved the latter’s role in SRC.

Najib says he was not alerted by the bank of any issues with his accounts then, hence why he didn’t remove Faisal from managing them.

This appears to irk Sithambaram, who then asks Najib the logic behind this.

Sithambaram: Are you telling the court that if a man of no integrity in SRC matters would be of integrity to manage your accounts? Are you splitting him?

Najib: No. I expected if something untoward (happened with the accounts), the bank would inform me.

Sithambaram: I’m putting it to you, Sir, that Faisal was your trusted lieutenant whom you planted in SRC to siphon funds from SRC into your accounts.

Najib: I totally disagree.

3.10pm: Najib was able to identify his signature on a letter appointing authorised personnel to operate his 694 AmBank account, despite the said document being a photocopy.

During cross-examination by Sithambaram, Najib says he could identify his signature on the photocopy letter shown to him by an MACC officer during investigation.

Sithambaram: P60(5) (letter exhibit on the appointment of authorised personnel to handle Najib’s 694 account) was a photocopy and you recognised based on content and signature.

Najib: Yes.

Sithambaram: You were satisfied. You identified it based on a photocopy?

Najib: Yes.

Then the accused and DPP gets into a heated exchange on why some documents he could ascertain his signature and some he was not sure of.

“Because it related to something simple,” Najib says on why he recognised his signature on the mandate letter.

3.20pm: Najib testifies that he never checked the bank statements sent to his house at Langgak Duta to see if the alleged RM2.6 billion Arab donation really came in.

During cross-examination by Sithambaram, Najib says that he knew about the donation coming in through other means such as letters confirming it came in.

Najib says he cannot remember whether he ever looked at the bank statements on account 694 that was sent to his house from 2011 to 2013.

Sithambaram: Your claim of knowledge of RM2.6 billion coming into your account without looking at the bank statement cannot be believed. This is better than a lottery (RM2.6 billion).

Najib: I said the letters came (confirming the money was sent). I knew.

Sithambaram: Unless you look at the bank statement, you cannot be sure.

Najib: I do not remember (checking any bank statement on the RM2.6 billion banked in). The money is a genuine donation (from the Saudi royal family).

3.35pm: Proceedings adjourn for a short break.

4:02pm: Proceedings resume.

4.20pm: The court hears that Najib had written two letters to the late King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Saud, then the King of Saudi Arabia, in 2012 and 2013.

These letters to the Saudi monarch were written after Najib had purportedly received cash donations from King Abdullah on three occasions between Feb 2011 and March 2013.

However, despite purportedly having received the donations of US$100 million, US$375 million and US$800 million, both letters written by Najib to King Abdullah did not mention him thanking the latter for donating the funds.

Answering a series of questions from Sithambaram, Najib claims that he did not mention the donations in his letters as they were sent through proper diplomatic channels.

Instead, Najib adds, he did thank King Abdullah when they met face to face.

Sithambaram: Again (in the second letter), you failed to mention even in passing thanking his majesty for the donations you received.

Najib: Yes. Because it goes through the normal channel.

Sithambaram: Whatever channel sir, you are not thanking him.

Najib: Not in this letter.

Sithambaram: Have you got any other letter thanking him?

Najib: No, but when I met his majesty, I did thank him.

4.50pm: Proceedings adjourn for today and will resume at 9am tomorrow.

Earlier reports:

Jan 22, Court Allows Najib to Call Expert to Verify Signatures

Jan 21, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 71

Jan 20, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 70

Jan 9, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 69

Jan 8, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 68

Jan 7, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 67

Jan 6, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 66

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