Court allows Najib’s request to access bank account documents

by BERNAMA / pic by BERNAMA

THE High Court yesterday allowed Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s (picture) application for access to information and documents of his AmBank accounts for the purpose of preparing his defence.

Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should not prevent the bank from releasing the information and bank documents for the accused to have a fair trial.

In any event, he said, the accused as an account holder was entitled to information and documents provided by the bank.

On the other hand, MACC is not prevented from pursuing its investigations and is entitled to seize documents and information as authorised under the MACC Act, he said.

Earlier, Najib’s counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah submitted that MACC had no power under the law to prevent his client from accessing documents related to his own bank accounts.

“The originals are already with the commission. There is no danger of the documents being manipulated or destroyed,” he said.

However, ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram countered that MACC was empowered to issue directions to AmBank as the matter was still under investigation.

“The matter is academic, since the bank had already shared the documents with Najib with the approval of MACC,” he argued, adding that there was no denial of fair trial in the circumstances.

On July 11, Muhammad Shafee told the court that Najib was not allowed to obtain documents pertaining to his AmBank account statements.

He said the defence had asked for the documents from AmBank for the purpose of preparing his client’s defence and that the bank stated through a letter that any party who requested for documents had to liaise with MACC first.

In a separate Bernama report, it was reported that Najib withdrew his appeal against the High Court’s decision to reject his application to strike out seven charges he is facing over RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd’s funds.

His counsel Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee informed the Court of Appeal that the defence did not wish to pursue the appeal as the trial at the High Court had gone to an advanced stage.

“The appeal to strike out the charges is no longer suitable. We will put this argument at the end of the trial,” he said.

Deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Izzat Fauzan did not object to the withdrawal.

Justice Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli, who sat with Datuk Kamardin Hashim and Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof, subsequently struck out the appeal.

Najib, who turned 66 yesterday, is facing seven charges relating to criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money laundering involving RM42 million of SRC International’s funds.

So far, 54 witnesses had testified at the ongoing trial. — Bernama