KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 -- Despite being “shocked” at receiving RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd into his personal bank accounts in December 2014 and February 2015, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak did not return any of the money, the High Court heard today.
The former prime minister told the court he did not return the money because he wanted to see the outcome of the then ongoing investigation by the authorities.
Najib, 67, however, disagreed with a suggestion by ad hoc prosecutor, Datuk V. Sithambaram that he treated the RM42 million as though it was his.
During the prosecution stage of the SRC International trial last year, Datuk Dr Shamsul Anwar Sulaiman, managing director of Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd, the entity appointed to undertake all 1Malaysia Development Berhad corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes, testified that Najib was “shocked” when he was informed that RM42 million had gone into his accounts.
Sithambaram: You expressed shock when you found out the money was in your accounts. If you know the money was in your accounts, you should have returned it.
Najib: It was under investigation. Subject to investigation.
Sithambaram: Upon learning (about the money), shouldn’t you have returned it? Even if the investigation was going on, you could have returned it.
Najib: I wanted to see the outcome of the investigation.
Sithambaram: It is not about the investigation but about the amount of money that went into your accounts. Do you still want to wait for the outcome? Okay ….
Earlier, Sithambaram read out Najib’s affidavit in his civil suit against former transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik who had alleged that the Pekan MP had misappropriated money.
Sithambaram also read out Ling’s affidavit which cited Najib’s sworn affidavit responding to the allegation that he (Najib) had admitted to receiving SRC International funds into his accounts.
Najib, however, maintained that he did not know that the RM42 million at that time was SRC money.
Sithambaram: You didn’t know that this money entered your accounts through two intermediaries?
Najib: No, I didn’t know it was SRC money at all.
Najib also disagreed with Sithambaram's suggestion that he was responsible for the RM9.3-billion debt incurred by the government over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
Najib is making his defence on seven charges of misappropriating RM42 million in SRC International funds, comprising three counts of criminal breach of trust, three counts of money laundering and one count of abuse of power in relation to the SRC funds.
The former prime minister also told the court he was surprised when he got to know of SRC International’s decision to send billions of ringgit abroad for investment, but said that he did not conduct any inquiry against the board regarding the matter.
Sithambaram: When you were told huge investments were taking place overseas, did you express shock that the Minister of Finance Incorporated, as the single shareholder, was not informed of these transactions which involved SRC capital?
Najib: Of course, I was surprised.
Sithambaram: It's good to be surprised. If you were surprised, you would inquire from the board how they sent a substantial sum overseas. Did you inquire?
Najib: No, I did not inquire.
Najib disagreed with a suggestion that he didn't inquire because all the minutes of the shareholders’ meetings referred to him were indeed signed by him and handed to the board.
Sithambaram suggested that Najib knew exactly what SRC International was doing, but the former premier maintained that he had left things to the company's management.
"I only took an interest in what was brought to my attention," said Najib.
The hearing before Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues.
Malaysia National News Agency
No.28 Jalan BERNAMA
Off Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : +603-2693 9933 (General Line)
Email : email@example.com