Witness: Nik Faisal left M’sia days before GE14

The MACC is confident that Nik Faisal and Jho Low will return to Malaysia to give evidence, after having recorded their statements

by BERNAMA/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

A WITNESS told the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday that former SRC International Sdn Bhd CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil had left the country on May 7 last year, two days before the 14th General Election (GE14).

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) special operations division senior deputy commissioner Rosli Husain said investigations showed that Nik Faisal departed via Terminal Three of the Subang International Airport.

The 57th prosecution witness also said fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho — who is better known as Jho Low — had left the country on May 29, 2015, via the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

However, efforts to trace the duo at their last known office and residential addresses were unsuccessful.

“We also went to the office of Nik Faisal in Shah Alam on May 21, 2018. I found only one worker there. The person told us that Nik Faisal had gone overseas and had not returned.

“Efforts to trace him at his residence in Bangsar were also unsuccessful. My officer who went to Jho

Low’s house in Tanjung Bungah, Penang, failed to find him and efforts to trace his father were also in vain,” said Rosli on the 52nd day of the trial of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak.

Najib is facing seven charges in relation to misappropriation of SRC International funds of RM42 million.

The witness, who disclosed this when replying to deputy public prosecutor Datuk Ishak Mohd Yusoff during examination-in-chief, said investigations showed that Nik Faisal and Jho Low had not returned to Malaysia since.

The warrants of arrest on Nik Faisal and Jho Low were issued on May 22, 2018, to get Interpol assistance in the hunt for the two, he said.

Rosli — the investigating officer in the case — added that Interpol issued a Red Notice against the two on June 11, 2018, and it was distributed to countries where they are suspected to be in hiding including Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar and China.

Jho Low’s Malaysian passport was cancelled on June 14, 2018, while Nik Faisal’s passport was revoked on July 25, 2018, he said.

Rosli said Jho Low also holds a Saint Kitts and Nevis passport.

Ishak: Where is that place?

Rosli: I understand it’s in South America. Interpol information shows that Jho Low has PR (permanent resident) status there.

Earlier, Rosli said he met Nik Faisal and Jho Low in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, in 2015 to record their statements.

“We (investigation team) recorded the statement of Nik Faisal in Jakarta on Oct 17, 2015, and Jho Low in Abu Dhabi on Nov 27 the same year,” he added.

Rosli said the MACC is confident that Nik Faisal and Jho Low will return to Malaysia to give evidence, after having recorded their statements.

Ishak: Why didn’t you place them under bail bond?

Rosli: Because they have given their commitment, we were confident they would return to Malaysia and would cooperate in this trial. That is why we didn’t place them under bail bond.

Najib, 66, is facing three counts of criminal breach of trust, one count of abusing his position and three counts of money laundering involving SRC International funds amounting to RM42 million.

The hearing before Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues. — Bernama