Najib’s SRC Trial: Day Three

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No excitement in the courtroom, no fanfare outside.

Chronology of Events:

8.48am: Wearing a grey suit and accompanied by a handful of aides, Najib arrives at the court complex in a Proton Perdana with the number plate TN50.

Najjua Zulkefli

Like yesterday, he carried two books, the titles which were obscured by his hand.

And like yesterday, supporters were notably absent, except a man who wore a bandanna covering the lower half of his face.

Najib paused his walk to greet the man and exchanged a few words.

8.50am: Attorney-General Tommy Thomas and other members of the prosecution team enter Kuala Lumpur High Court Criminal 3 courtroom.

8.58am: Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who is leading Najib’s defence team, arrives at the court grounds.

Wearing a dark blue suit, he headed straight into the courthouse, his ear glued to his phone.

9.32am: Najib and Shafee enter the courtroom.

Najib sits in the public gallery while looking at his smartphone.

Shafee joins the rest of the defence team in the front row seats reserved for lawyers.

9.40am: Najib enters and sits in the dock as proceedings begin.

Thomas informs the court that the matter of photocopying the documents, which caused proceedings to be put off yesterday, has been resolved.

Bank Negara investigator Azizul Adzani Abdul Ghafar takes the stand.

Defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh cross-examines Azizul about the extent of his involvement in the July 6, 2015, raid on Ambank’s Raja Chulan branch.

10.05am: Harvinderjit asks when they went to seize the documents on July 6, was Azizul instructed to look for any specific document.

Azizul replies that he was instructed to get all documents attached to Najib’s account.

10.07am: Azizul says that other than the account number, he wasn’t told the name of the account holder when carrying out the raid.

He also did not meet any of the 1MDB top brass when Harvinderjit mentions their names. He says his role was just to seize the documents.

Harvinderjit asks after getting the documents, what did he do.

10.15am: Azizul says he waited for other teams to finish their raids at the AmBank office in Jalan Raja Chulan.

He denies waiting because he wanted to monitor the other teams.

He says he waited to go back with the other team, adding that he does not know their instructions.

Azizul says he waited from 11am till about 10pm for the second team which was raiding a different part of the AmBank office to finish.

10.20am: Harvinderjit asks whether Azizul remembers if there were MACC officers in the second team. He says he does not know.

11am: Azizul says that among the bank documents given to him during the raid were documents indicating transactions between RM5 million and RM40 million, which took place between Dec 2014 and Feb 2015.

However, it is unclear which bank account this involved.

11.10am: The proceedings stop for a short break.

11.32am: Proceedings resume.

Harvinderjit asks Azizul if he was briefed to look out for specific transactions with regard to SRC International or Gandingan Menteri. Azizul says he does not remember.

Harvinderjit then asks if he’s unsure or can’t remember.

11.37am: Harvinderjit grills Azizul on whether he received orders to obtain bank documents on specific transactions between RM5 million and RM40 million, which took place between Dec 2014 and Feb 2015, during the raid.

Azizul says no. He says he merely received orders to look for certain documents containing specific account numbers, and that he had not been told to seek documents listing specific transactions.

Harvinderjit then asks how he came about getting the specific transactions from Uma Devi.

Azizul says he was not sure.

“Please come out of your cave, you are clearly not telling us the whole story,” Harvinderjit tells the witness.

Azizul adds that the bank documents detailing the transactions in question were given by AmBank Raja Chulan branch manager R Uma Devi without him asking for them.

Azizul says Uma Devi had handed him bank documents listing, among others, the opening of bank accounts for Najib, SRC International and Gandingan Mentari.

Uma Devi had handed him a later batch of bank documents at 9.15pm the same day.

He explains that Uma Devi had come out of the office, saw him still waiting at the bank, and handed him the documents detailing the specific transactions.

List of specific transactions contained in bank documents handed to Azizul on July 6, 2015:

  • Account opening form for account number 2110020090481
  • Single credit confirmation advice dated Dec 24, 2014 for RM40 million
  • Single credit confirmation advice dated Feb 5, 2015 for RM5 million
  • Single credit confirmation advice dated Dec 26, 2014 for RM27 million
  • Single credit confirmation advice dated Dec 26, 2014 for RM5 million
  • Withdrawal transfer slip dated Jan 9, 2015 for RM39.7 million
  • Instruction letter dated Jan 9, 2015 for RM39.7 million
  • Withdrawal transfer slip dated Feb 13, 2015 for RM10 million
  • Instruction letter dated Jan 13, 2015 for RM10 million
  • Deposit slip dated Dec 24, 2014 for RM40 million

12.53pm: Court breaks for lunch.

12.55pm: Najib exits the courtroom to enter a vehicle waiting near the lobby of the court complex.

Firdaus Latif

He shakes hands with two of about seven supporters who escort him to the car, and the smiling former premier is heard saying: “A lot of reporters (at the court lobby).”

2.36pm: Najib enters the courtroom after the lunch break, and takes a seat in the front row of the public gallery as he waits for proceedings to resume.

2.45pm: Proceedings resume with the further cross-examination of Azizul by Harvinderjit.

On the prosecution side, Thomas is not present in court as he attends another prior engagement after lunch. The prosecution is represented by Suhaimi Ibrahim and V Sithambaram.

3.13pm: Azizul says that he didn’t ask Uma Devi about the account when she gave him the additional documents.

Harvinderjit asks Azizul if he asked Uma about Joanna Yu, who was handling the SRC account for AmBank, to which Azizul answers “no”.

Azizul then says he lodged a police report over his findings at AmBank.

Najjua Zulkefli/TMI

He says that it is standard procedure to lodge a police report after every raid.

When asked by Harvinderjit whether any other investigation paper was opened in relation to the raid, Azizul says he does not know.

3.20pm: Azizul is released from the witness stand.

The third prosecution witness Muhammad Nizam Yahya, 39, is called. He is an analyst at the Financial Intelligence Department of Bank Negara.

He begins by being cross-examined by Suhaimi Ibrahim.

3.30pm: Nizam testifies that he served Affin Bank Berhad with a notice under Section 37 (1) of Amlatfa on July 6, 2015.

He says the notice ordered Affin Bank to hand over bank documents related to SRC International subsidiary Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd.

The Wall Street Journal had previously published documents that allegedly showed that SRC International transferred RM40 million to its subsidiary Gandingan Mentari on Dec 24, 2014.

The funds were subsequently passed on to Ihsan Perdana on the same day.

A total of RM32 million from this amount purportedly found its way into two AmBank private bank accounts belonging to Najib two days later, in two tranches of RM27 million and RM5 million.

Both transactions were backed by an AffinBank remittance application form.

According to the remittance application form, the transfer to the AmBank account was for “CSR (corporate social responsibility) programmes”.

The next round of transactions in 2015 took the same pattern with two tranches of RM5 million being allegedly transferred from SRC International Sdn Bhd on Feb 5 and Feb 6 respectively.

Both tranches of RM5 million were then purportedly transferred to Ihsan Perdana on the same day before being transferred in a single transaction of RM10 million to Najib’s account on Feb 10, 2015.

This was also backed by an AffinBank remittance application form.

Similarly, the “details of payment” was listed as “fund transfer for CSR programmes”.

3.46pm: During the examination-in-chief, Nizam testifies that Affin Bank handed him information on Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd’s three current accounts with the bank after he served the notice on them.

He lists out the Ihsan Perdana documents given by a representative of Affin Bank at its Raja Chulan office in Kuala Lumpur, on July 6, 2015.

He says he was handed the account opening forms; specimen signature forms; list of authorised signatories; customer due diligence forms for the three accounts; and statements of account related to the opening of said accounts.

4.02pm: Justice Mohd Nazlan orders the proceedings to stop for a short break.

This follows an application from both the prosecution and defence to be given time to sort out documentary evidence linked to Nizam’s testimony.

4.22pm: The judge enters. The marking issue has been resolved. However, Najib is not in the dock.

Shafee realises Najib is not in the dock and asks one of his lawyers to check.

They court waits for him to return before it can resume.

4.23pm: Najib arrives and takes his place in the dock with a beverage in his hands.

4.32pm: Nizam continues testifying. He says a few representatives from an unknown task force came to his office to examine and make copies of the documents. He says the originals documents were submitted to the MACC in June 2018.

Suhaimi concludes his examination.

4.38pm: Shafee asks if the defence can continue its cross-examination tomorrow morning. The judge denies his request, saying it is “too early” to adjourn for the day.

4.51pm: Nizam says the documents he seized were for the task force. The task force in question was helmed by members of the police, MACC, A-G’s Chambers and Bank Negara.

Harvinderjit: Do you know who is in the task force?

Nizam: I’m not sure.

Harvinderjit: But I’m sure you know as this was the first time taking out a notice against the prime minister?

Nizam: I was aware of it, in general.

5pm: Court adjourns. Hearing resumes tomorrow.

Earlier reports:

Apr 15, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day Two

Apr 3, Najib Trial: Day One