Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today maintained his not guilty plea on three counts of money laundering amounting RM27 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds five years ago.
Najib, 66, who was in grey suit, nodded when the charges were read out to him by a court interpreter and when asked whether he pleaded guilty or not, he said, “claim trial”.
The case came up for mention for the first time before High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan today after its transfer from the Sessions Court.
For all the three charges, Najib was alleged to have been involved in money laundering by accepting a total of RM27 million, which were proceeds from unlawful activities, through his three AmPrivate Banking accounts.
The Pekan Member of Parliament was alleged to have committed the offences at AmIslamic Bank Berhad, Ambank Group Building, No. 55, Jalan Raja Chulan on July 8 2014 under Section 4 (1) (a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001.
He faced a maximum fine of RM5 million or imprisonment for up to five years, or both, if found guilty.
Deputy public prosecutor Manoj Kurup proposed to the court to use the bail that was imposed against Najib by the Sessions Court last Feb 8.
The court then set April 17 for mention.
Last Feb 8, Najib, represented by lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, was charged with the three charges in the Sessions Court, where he pleaded not guilty to all the charges, but the case was transferred to the High Court following an application by the prosecution.
Meanwhile, in another High Court, judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali fixed this Monday (Feb 18) for management of Najib’s case involving seven charges relating to SRC funds totaling RM42 million, following an application by Kurup when the case came up for mention.
Kurup said on that day, the prosecution would inform the court on the development of Najib’s four appeals at the Court of Appeals.
The appeals were on gag order against the media from discussing the merits of his criminal case, for recovery of documents, to challenge on the appointment of lawyer Datuk Sulaiman Abdullah as the lead prosecutor and on the prosecution’s move to withdraw the certificate to transfer his case from the Sessions Court to the High Court.
On July 4 last year, Najib was charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust and one charge of abusing his position over SRC International funds amounting to RM42 million.
On Aug 8 last year, he was charged with three counts of money laundering involving the same amount of money in SRC funds.