by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
THE Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday heard that about US$645 million (RM2.66 billion), previously claimed as “donations” from a prince and the Saudi Arabia Finance Ministry, was credited into former Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s accounts in 2011 and 2013.
The over US$600 million receipts in the former PM’s personal account had received global coverage as the monies were allegedly linked to the billions funnelled out of state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
Besides the money from the prince, the record also showed transfers from Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners Ltd into Najib’s private account.
At Najib’s SRC International Sdn Bhd trial, the prosecution’s 21st witness R Uma Devi testified that RM151.9 million from Prince Faisal Turki was deposited into the former PM’s account at AmBank Group in 2012.
The court was told that, at one time, the account had more than RM1 billion. Prince Faisal and Blackstone Asia were said to have links to the 1MDB scandal.
Uma also revealed other transactions, including RM30.5 million transferred by the prince in 2011 into Najib’s private account.
The transactions were revealed by the prosecution’s witness on the 10th day of the trial during the cross-examination.
Uma testified that, in 2011, over RM94 million was transferred from the Finance Ministry of Saudi Arabia into Najib’s account.
Uma also confirmed that Najib received some RM125,000 from Blackstone Asia in 2012.
In 2013, the sum of RM1.9 billion was transferred into Najib’s
account, inclusive of an amount of about RM304 million credited in 2011 and RM756 million received in 2012, Uma said.
She also revealed that in July 30, 2013, there was an instruction letter by Najib to the bank to return some US$620 million in a single transaction to the origins of the fund.
The 66-year-old Pekan MP had claimed he had returned the unutilised amount to the sender. Najib had five accounts with AmBank — one savings account and four current accounts.
The first two accounts were opened on Jan 13 and Jan 18, 2011, and both accounts were closed on Aug 30, 2013.
The other three accounts were opened on July 31, 2013, and closed on March 9, 2015, before Najib transferred millions to various beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, Uma revealed earlier that Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd’s account was categorised as “high risk”.
“A high-risk account handles a lot of cash, for instance. The account will be monitored by the compliance department,” she said.
Gandingan Mentari and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd, purportedly SRC International’s corporate social responsibility partners, were alleged to be the vehicles used to channel RM42 million into Najib’s personal accounts.
The eldest son of the country’s second PM is facing seven charges on money laundering, criminal breach of trust and power abuse over a RM42 million fund allegedly misappropriated from SRC International.
Earlier yesterday, Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali dismissed the defence’s application to strike out the seven charges that were claimed as vague and clashed with each other.
The judge ruled that the charges are of different ingredients and that they are not defective.
Meanwhile, the prosecutor sought more days for the SRC International trial as the hearings were previously scheduled to run up to May 10.
Lead prosecutor Attorney General Tommy Thomas said the prosecution prefers to complete SRC International’s trial first before starting the other trials, including those related to 1MDB.