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

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Put in a spot, Najib was today given a tutorial on court procedures in his SRC International Bhd trial.

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was momentarily cornered during his trial today when he could not provide a straight answer to ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram.

When referring to documentary exhibits related to his request to send back some US$620 million (RM2.2 billion) to supposed Middle Eastern donors, Najib was asked to explain his previously stated concern about the authenticity of his signature on the documents.

When cross-examining Najib, Sithambaram asked why the former PM expressed doubt about his own signatures before when he could readily do so with the same documents during today’s proceedings.

Sithambaram: Why, at the close of the prosecutions’ case, you fought these documents, that you did not sign them, but now you conveniently explained. Why did you say today that you signed the documents?

Miera Zulyana

Najib: I have to get back to you, I don’t have a proper explanation.

The amused DPP explained to Najib that the courts do not work that way.

Sithambaram then reminded Najib how he was being cross-examined and, as such, was not allowed to consult with his lawyers until the close of the prosecution’s questioning.

Sithambaram: Sir, you cannot do that. When you’re in the stand, you cannot refer to your lawyers. You are not supposed to even speak with them.

Najib: I need to check because I am not sure.

Sithambaram: No, sir, you cannot do that. You can either agree or disagree.

When pressed, Najib resorted to saying, “I don’t know about this.”

Sithambaram then moved on with his questions.

Shortly after, however, Najib again sought to consult his lawyers over whether he had expressed doubt over the authenticity of several signed documents before the trial began last year.

Sithambaram: This exhibit P277, the document was served to you before trial, and you did not raise issues, you agree or disagree?

Najib: I have to check with my lawyer.

Sithambaram: All I am saying is, this is already in evidence, when it was served there was no police report or anything of such made.

Najib: Yes, probably, but I need to confirm that.

Sithambaram: Do you agree with it or disagree?

Najib: I will check on that, I do not remember.

Sithambaram today also zeroed in on Najib’s defence that money he spent during the material time were donations from the Saudi royal family.

Aswadi Alias/NST

He then suggested that Najib knew all along that he had spent misappropriated funds, to which the latter disagreed.

Sithambaram: From day one the monies from 2011 to 2014, all the four tranches that came to you, you knew all these monies never originated from the Saudi Royal family.

Najib: I disagree because it came from their Ministry of Finance.

Sithambaram: No member of the Saudi Royal family can come and confirm that, will you be producing any of them to come to court?

Najib: We have not (managed), it’s difficult to get them to come to court.

Sithambaram: I put it to you that it is for mere convenience not to make them come to court to maintain your story.

Najib: I disagree.