Najib says RM466,330 Chanel watch a gift due to disrupted vacation

The defendant says he would normally spend time with his family between 10 days to 2 weeks on a holiday

by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by ARIF KARTONO

FORMER Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak said the US$130,625 (RM466,330.11) Chanel watch gifted to his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor in 2014 was meant to make up for cutting a family holiday short due to flood situation in Kelantan.

On his fourth day on the witness stand, Najib told the Kuala Lumpur High Court that his family was sad when he had to shorten his vacation and returned to Malaysia to oversee the extraordinary flood situation in Kelantan in 2014, Bernama reported.

The defendant said he would normally spend time with his family between 10 days to two weeks on a holiday.

In turn, the father of five testified that he let Rosmah choose her birthday present herself.

“My family was sad because I had to leave them and return to Malaysia immediately despite taking the year-end holiday to celebrate my wife’s birthday… I then decided to buy something of her choice,”Najib said in the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial yesterday.

On Monday, Najib testified that the US$130,625 was transacted via his credit card at a Chanel boutique in Honolulu, Hawaii in December 2014 to purchase a watch as a birthday present for Rosmah.

The Pekan MP also said that RM127,017.46 was spent by credit card at Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok in January 2015 during a private holiday, which he then took the chance to meet Thai PM Prayut Chan-O-Cha to discuss ways for Thailand to assist the flood-affected Kelantan.

Najib asserted that he had the right to use a portion of funds channelled into his bank accounts for personal purposes.

He was not acquitted from all the charges related to the embezzlement of SRC International’s RM42 million funds.

Meanwhile, the media reported that Najib sacked the then Deputy PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and former Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal because the duo had made statements outside the Cabinet.

Lead prosecutor Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas has started cross-examining Najib yesterday.

The former PM faces a maximum jail sentence of 20 years and fine for the crimes, if convicted.