Forged signatures and Nik Faisal’s role

by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by ARIF KARTONO

A FORMER director of SRC International Sdn Bhd did not rule out the possibility that his signatures could have been forged by the company’s top brass to expedite the movement of millions of ringgit.

Datuk Suboh Md Yasin (picture), a key prosecution witness in former Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s corruption trial, told the court yesterday that his signature on the hard and scanned copies of the instruction letters were not identical.

Najib’s defence team had suggested that Suboh’s signature could have been forged in some of the bank’s transfer instruction documents.

The former PM’s lead counsel, Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, had shown several banking-related documents with Suboh’s signature during cross-examination and later used an overhead projector to superimpose the signatures.

Suboh had agreed that all his signatures on the scanned documents showed were identically “perfect” upon the superimposition, as though they were photocopied to each other.

The prosecution than superimposed another set of documents between the hard and soft copies of the instruction letter to prove that the signatures did not match.

Suboh also agreed that his

signatures on the hard copies of the instruction letters did not look exactly the same as the scanned copies.

Muhammad Shafee claimed that there were no issues with then SRC International MD Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil’s signatures, pointing out that the missing CEO could possibly have forged Suboh’s signatures.

“I am putting to you that Nik Faisal forged and scanned your signatures?” Muhammad Shafee said.

“Maybe,” said Suboh, who had also been on the run following the investigation into the SRC International case.

Suboh testified that he had six different questioning sessions with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) — once in 2015, and five times after the 14th General Election (GE14).

The 68-year-old corporate figure said the MACC did not conduct any signature sampling exercise with him, or queried over the differences in signatures.

In the morning, the defence requested Suboh to perform signature sampling in court.

Suboh said he had indeed signed instruction letters for fund transfers, as asked by Nik Faisal.

Moreover, Suboh testified that he signed instruction letters involving three transactions — RM40 million, RM5 million and RM5 million — from SRC International to Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd between Dec 24, 2014, and Feb 6, 2015, purportedly for corporate social responsibility purposes.

The prosecutor’s 42nd witness also said he had no questions over the transfers, despite holding directorships in both SRC International and Gandingan Mentari.

“I acted based on the advice from Nik Faisal. He was the CEO. He was responsible in finance and administration matters. Hence, I leave that to him. I was told by Nik Faisal to sign and I just follow,” Suboh said.

Nik Faisal and Suboh were the two signatories of SRC International.

Suboh also said he was last contacted by Nik Faisal some time after GE14 last year.

Nik Faisal — whose whereabouts are unknown — had him leave Malaysia, Suboh said, adding that the former could have been calling him from Shanghai, China, as had appeared on his phone.

Nik Faisal is believed to be the key “link” between SRC International’s board and Najib, as testified by the company’s former director and chairman Tan Sri Ismee Ismail.