July 28: Decision on Najib’s case for misappropriation of RM42m in SRC fund

by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA

THE decision whether former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (picture) will be convicted or acquitted on seven charges of misappropriating RM42 million in SRC International Sdn Bhd’s funds will be known on July 28.

High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali fixed the date after hearing submissions by both parties at the end of the defence case  for five days since Monday.

He  said both parties had provided lengthy and extensive written submissions, totalling 2,000  pages, to assist the court in ensuring and evaluating, as well as to  determine, whether  the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubts.

“I intend to deliver my final decision on the seven charges next month, on 28 July,  at 10 am,” he said.

Appointed prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram is leading the prosecution team,while lawyer  Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is leading the defence team for Najib, 67.

Najib, who served as the sixth prime minister from 2009 to 2018,  is the first head of government of Malaysia to find himself in the dock of a court.

The trial began on April 3, last year, with the prosecution having called 57 witnesses to the stand.

During the trial,  the prosecution tendered more than 750 exhibits,  including bank documents relating to Najib’s bank accounts, documents of cash transactions, minutes of meetings and Blackberry Messenger chats over Najib’s transactions.

The witnesses included AmBank Jalan Raja Chulan branch manager R. Uma Devi, 40; Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) former CEO Azian Mohd Noh, 66;  Tan Sri Ismee Ismail, 54, a former member of SRC’s board of directors; and SRC non-executive director Datuk Suboh Md Yassin, 68.

Others were former Finance Ministry secretary-general  Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, 67; former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu Ging Ping, 48; former finance minister II Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, 67; and investigating officer Rosli Husain, 54.

On March 11, the defence closed its case after calling 19 witnesses in the trial that ran for 33 days since Dec 3 last year, with Najib called as the first defence witness.

Others called to testify were two former Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Tan Sri Dzulkfili Ahmad and Latheefa Koya and former Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali.

As of today, the proceeding has beein going on for 94 days .

On Nov 11 last year, Najib was ordered to enter his defence on seven charges of misappropriating RM42 million in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds, comprising three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT), three counts of money laundering and one count of abuse of position in relation to the SRC funds.

With regard to the CBT charges, Najib, as a public servant and agent, namely Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Malaysia, and Advisor Emeritus of SRC International Sdn Bhd (SRC), allegedly misappropriated RM27 million and RM5 million respectively of RM4 billion belonging to SRC.

He was charged with committing the two offences at AmIslamic Bank Berhad, Ambank Group Building, No 55, Jalan Raja Chulan here, between Dec 24, 2014, and Dec 29, 2014.

On the third count, Najib allegedly misappropriated another RM10 million of RM4 billion belonging to SRC at the same place between Feb 10, 2015, and March 2, 2015.

The three charges are framed under Section 409 of the Penal Code which provides an imprisonment for up to 20 years, with whipping and liable to fine upon conviction.

On the charge of abusing his position, Najib as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Malaysia, was alleged to have used his position to commit bribery involving RM42 million through his participation or involvement in the decision to provide government guarantees for loans from the Retirement Fund Incorporated to SRC International amounting to RM4 billion.

He was alleged to have committed the offence at the Prime Minister’s Office, Precinct 1, Putrajaya, Federal Territory of Putrajaya, between Aug 17, 2011, and Feb 8, 2012.

The charge, under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 and punishable under Section 24 of the same Act, provides an imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount or value of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

On the three money-laundering charges, Najib was alleged to have received RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million, respectively, of proceeds from unlawful activities, via Real-Time Electronic Transfer of Funds and Securities (Rentas) into his two AmIslamic Bank Berhad accounts,  bearing the numbers 2112022011880 and 2112022011906.

The offences were allegedly committed at AmIslamic Bank Berhad, AmBank Group Building, No. 55, Jalan Raja Chulan here, between Dec 26, 2014, and Feb 10, 2015.

The charges were framed under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFPUAA) 2001 and if convicted, the ex-premier faces up to 15 years imprisonment and a fine of up to five times the sum or value of the illicit proceeds or RM5 million, whichever is higher, on each count.