Najib: Ahmad Husni had no proper plans to recover SRC funds in Swiss

The former PM admitted that he did not ask to draw up a proper plan and allowed the management to take necessary actions

by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by BERNAMA

DATUK Seri Mohd Najib Razak said he did not allow the former Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah to retrieve SRC International Sdn Bhd’s fund in Switzerland as the latter did not have a proper plan to do so.

The former prime minister (PM) and finance minister (FM) told the Kuala Lumpur (KL) High Court yesterday the government at that time was expected to eventually intervene in the company’s efforts to get back the RM3.6 billion kept abroad.

He, however, admitted that he did not ask Ahmad Husni to draw up a proper plan upon his request to go to Switzerland, but rather let the management of the company take necessary actions.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram: Do you agree that it would be more effective for the government to send a representative to recover the funds than a company seeking the Swiss government to release the frozen money?

Najib: That is debatable.

Sithambaram: The money belonged to a government pension fund. Why couldn’t Ahmad Husni retrieve it?

Najib: Ahmad Husni didn’t have a proper plan. It was an informal request.

Sithambaram: Did you tell him to have a proper plan?

Najib: I didn’t tell him that, but I wanted a proper plan.

Sithambaram: I put it to you that you didn’t want him to go and bring the funds back.

Najib: I let the management recover the money first, but eventually the government would need to step in.

Ahmad Husni, who was the 56th prosecution witness, testified that he was treated like an “office boy” during his tenure as the second FM in dealings at 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Najib, who is the former advisor emeritus of SRC International, dismissed the claims as “nonsense and comedic” in his defence.

Meanwhile, Najib testified yesterday that the Cabinet had not been informed when the second SRC International loan was defaulting as the matter was already under his purview as PM.

He also admitted that he had contacted fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, on a few occasions over transactions of his bank accounts with AmBank Group.

In certain instances, Jho Low had been in touch with the bank officers to ensure that there was enough money for Najib to write cheques, based on correspondences with the account relationship manager Joanna Yu Ging Ping.

On Wednesday, KL High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah had vacated Jan 13-16 to allow for Najib’s 1MDB audit report tampering trial involving former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy to commence.

Additionally, following the release of the phone recordings implicating Najib by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, his lawyer Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said the team planned to acquire the files as the content deemed usable for the defence.