Najib’s SRC Trial: Najib Found Guilty of All 7 Charges

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Former Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been found guilty in relation to the charge of him misappropriating RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd, which is a 1MDB subsidiary company.

Timeline

6am: Reporters from the local and international media gather at the main entrance.

6.30am: Supporters start to converge at the entrance of the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex.

Hundreds of supporters are believed to have been ferried from all across peninsular Malaysia, including from his constituency in Pekan, Pahang.

Yusof Mat Isa

Many are dressed in red, blue and black T-shirts with Najib’s face printed on them.

Some of them are also seen chanting “Bossku”, in reference to Najib.

Ahmad Zamzahuri

However, they are not allowed to enter the court as police had sealed off the building to practice social distancing.

Plainclothes policemen and several CID officers with tactical gears from the Sentul district police headquarters are spotted all around the court compound

Security has been further heightened with several K9-unit dogs placed around the court compound.

8.50am: The media are allowed into the courts complex.

Ten reporters, one from each selected media organisation, had been given passes to be in the courtroom while passes had been issued to 40 other newsmen to follow the proceedings via a video link in another room.

9.20am: Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan arrives with a group of supporters in blue T-shirts.

9.27am: Wearing a light brown suit, white shirt, red tie and a N95 valved face mask, Najib arrives with about 100 supporters. The former prime minister appears straight-faced as he shakes the hands of supporters.

Mohamad Shahril Badri Saali

Walking amid a sea of supporters, Najib is flanked by among others, Mohamad Hasan, party Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki and Pontian MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan.

Also seen are his son Ashman and stepson Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz.

There is a brief struggle in him making his entry into the court’s compound as his followers are determined to follow him in. They, however, are denied entry amid tight police security in the compound.

Afif Abd Halim/TMI

9.36am: Mat Hasan accompanies Najib to the fifth-floor courtroom.

Hazreen Mohamad/NST

9.52am: Lawyers start to fill the courtroom.

9.57am: Ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram enters the court, along with other prosecutors.

9.58am: Najib, flanked by some supporters, is now seated at the public gallery. He engages in small talk and checks his phone.

10.01am: Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is seated beside Najib. Also present in the public gallery is Riza Aziz, Mohamad and former Pahang Menteri Besar Adnan Yaakob.

10.12am: Defence counsel Harvindejit Singh enters the courtroom and banters with Sithambaram. The public gallery is filled with members of the media and Umno members.

10.14am: Najib’s daughter, Nooryana Najwa, in cream baju kurung, is seated at the back with Riza.

10.17am: Najib’s lead counsel, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, enters the court. Court is in session.

10.18am: High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali thanks lawyers from both sides for their professionalism and decorum during the trial.

He says he will read out his key findings and the full written judgment will be available in three weeks for parties who wish to appeal.

10.19am: Nazlan begins reading the judgment by noting that prima facie was established at the end of the prosecution stage, in November.

The prosecution must prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.

10.24am: Nazlan says Najib played a pivotal role in the establishment of SRC International.

“Despite the matter being in the 10th Malaysia Plan, the impetus came from someone associated with 1MDB and not originated from some government agency.”

10.26am: The Economic Planning Unit did not recommend Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) loans to SRC International, instead proposing conventional loans to the government-linked entity.

10.32am: Nazlan says the KWAP process was rushed. Former Treasury secretary-general Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, who was appointed as KWAP chairman, was made to expedite RM4 billion in loans to SRC International.

10.43am: Najib agreed during cross-examination that the government guarantees for the KWAP loans were necessary as SRC International could not operate because it had no track record.

Nazlan says such was the national agenda argument offered by the accused.

“This narrative does not appear to be entirely true when the testimony of former Treasury secretary-general Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah is considered.”

Irwan’s evidence was based on his long service, who maintained that a company such as SRC International must be able to establish its ability to repay the loan.

10.45am: Former second finance minister Ahmad Husni wanted to travel to Switzerland in 2015 to investigate billions in SRC International funds frozen by the authorities there.

Nazlan says Najib had not only stopped Husni but denied in his testimony that a full government delegation would have done a better job in probing into the frozen funds.

Najib instead left the matter to the SRC International board to resolve.

10.54am: Nazlan says the defence has failed to disprove prosecution’s case that Najib’s actions were not for the advancement for national interests.

10.55am: On the defence’s argument that the prosecution could not establish a link between the RM42 million in Najib’s account and the RM4 billion in KWAP loans to SRC International, Nazlan says it is not required of the prosecution to do so in the case to prove Najib’s guilt.

11.03am: The second loan of RM2 billion from KWAP to SRC International was approved despite Najib not knowing exactly what had happened to the first loan of RM2 billion.

The judge says Najib’s defence had been that the matter was the prerogative of the SRC International board.

“I find it hard to fathom when the sum involved is extremely large by any measure,” Nazlan says.

The defence has failed to refute beyond reasonable doubt Najib’s abuse of power charge under (Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.

11.11am: Nazlan refers to claims of forgery by the defence relating to banking documents. Former SRC International director Suboh Md Yassin claimed that it was possible his signature was forged.

The witness was oblivious to what he had signed, regardless of the forgery.

“He has said he does not remember what he has signed.”

In addition to five years that have passed since he signed the documents, Nazlan says the witness suffered a stroke.

It was not out of the ordinary for companies to use documents that bear photocopied signatures of the signatories.

11.17am: Najib, in his testimony, admitted knowledge that 1MDB intermediary figure Jho Low was in communication with the former prime minister’s late private secretary Azlin Alias on the status of the bank accounts.

Despite Najib’s denial of knowledge of his account between 2011 and 2015, the Pekan MP was known to have issued cheques when money was transferred into them.

The amount transacted reached RM1 billion at one point, says Nazlan, adding that Najib was being deceptive regarding his actual knowledge of the accounts, including the remittance of the RM42 million from SRC International.

11.26am: Najib did not “take the logical step to return the RM42 million” when informed that the money originated from SRC International.

The judge says as shareholder of Minister of Finance Inc, which controlled SRC International, Najib had the duty to ensure the return of the funds.

11.27am: Nazlan has now spent more than an hour reading the judgment.

11.35am: Low would not engage in deceitful activities harmful to the accused.

“I don’t think Jho Low would risk to do what he needed to do ensure funds are sufficient to risk his relationship with Najib.”

The judge says it’s “too far-fetched” to imagine Najib being a victim of a scam by a subordinate, adding that the defence’s argument is “self-serving”.

“All roads lead to Rome, or in this case Arabia,” says Nazlan, referring to the defence argument that the RM42 million originated from Arab donations.

11.39am: The defence’s argument that Najib received money from the late Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud cannot be sustained because there is no evidence that Najib attempted to verify the donation or the purpose of it with the king or Riyadh.

“The accused merely took the word of Jho Low.”

Najib merely relied on Low’s claims based on the latter’s purported close relationship with the Arab royals. Nazlan is referring to a meeting in Riyadh in January 2010.

11.42am: There was no official proclamation that the donation from one nation to another.

“The accused could have picked up his phone to verify the donation,” says Nazlan, adding that Najib did not communicate with either foreign ministry officials or the Saudi government.

“I find that the failure of the accused to ensure official confirmation that the donation was officially from King Abdullah to be improbable.”

11.43am: There has been a total absence of government confirmation that could have been produced in court that the prime minister received a donation from King Abdullah, says Nazlan.

11.48am: King Abdullah had never in a formal meeting told Najib that he intends to support the latter.

The judge also notes a claim by former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs) Jamil Khir Baharom that the king wanted to transfer the money via a company account to Najib’s accounts to avoid public scrutiny.

“This is astounding.”

11.56am: Nazlan refers to three letters by a Prince Saud purportedly declaring billions in donations from Saudi Arabia, which Najib did not declare to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission as gifts.

Najib also didn’t thank the Saudi government in writing for the donation. In addition, Najib testified that he does not know who Prince Saud was.

12.03pm: The purported Arab donation, in the billions, was purportedly to defend moderate Islam and promote peace.

Nazlan says, however, the money was used for activities that could only be interpreted as political activities on behalf of the Barisan Nasional coalition.

Najib also used alleged donation for “blatantly personal expenses”, such as trips to Italy and Hawaii.

The judge concludes that the claims of Arab donation remain unproven and that the letters from Prince Saud were never tendered as evidence.

12.09pm: “In my judgment, the accused could not have believed the money was from Arab donation,” says Nazlan.

“This defence is unsustainable because it is fully contrived. It is difficult not to characterise the defence of the Arab donation to be self-serving.”

The judge says it does not pass the threshold of “logic and common sense”.

12.12pm: The defence has failed to raise reasonable doubt for the three counts of criminal breach of trust under Section 409 of the Penal Code, regarding the RM42 million, says Nazlan.

12.14pm: On Najib’s three money-laundering charges, Nazlan says the accused exhibited “wilful blindness” from his testimony, regarding the remittance of the RM42 million into his bank accounts.

The facts and circumstances established by the evidence showed Najib could not claim to having no knowledge regarding his bank accounts.

The defence failed to cast reasonable doubt for Najib’s three counts of money-laundering (Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act).

12.17pm: I, therefore, find the accused guilty and convict the accused (of) all seven charges.

Najib who is seated, appears calm when the verdict is delivered.

Shafee addresses the court, saying plea for mitigation should not be treated as a ritualistic step by the accused only to be dismissed by the court.


Earlier reports:

June 5, Najib’s SRC Trial: Defence Claim Not an Iota of Proof Najib Behind RM42M Transactions

Jun 4, Najib’s SRC Trial: Defence Say Najib a Victim of Conspiracy

Jun 3, Najib’s SRC Trial: Prosecution Say Have Proven Case Against Najib

Jun 2, Najib’s SRC Trial: Defence Discredits Ex-Minister

Jun 2, Najib’s SRC Trial: Defence Says Don’t Convict Najib Based on “Court of Public Opinion”

Jun 1, Najib’s SRC Trial: Defence Lawyers Argu It Wasn’t Najib, Blame Jho Low and Nik Faisal

Mar 11, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 90

Mar 10, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 89

Mar 9, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 88

Mar 9, Latheefa and Shafee Visibly Upset with Each Other

Mar 9, Apandi Stands by 2016 Statements Clearing Najib of Wrongdoing

Mar 5, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 87

Mar 4, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 86

Mar 3, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 85

Mar 2, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 84

Feb 27, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 83

Feb 26, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 82

Feb 24, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 81

Feb 17, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 80

Feb 13, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 79

Feb 13, Anifah Says Improper for Najib to Buy Channel Watch with Saudi Donation

Feb 11, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 78

Feb 10, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 77

Feb 10, Former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia: Najib, Not King Abdullah Told Me About Donation

Feb 5, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 76

Feb 4, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 75

Feb 3, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 74

Jan 23, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 73

Jan 23, Stumbling for Answers at SRC Trial, Najib Is Schooled on Court Proceedings

Jan 22, Najib’s SRC Trial: Day 72

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