Thursday, 4 Jun 2020

Najib knew about transfer of 1MDB's ex-subsidiary SRC funds into his bank accounts, Malaysia prosecution says

KUALA LUMPUR – When RM42 million (S$13.7 million) was deposited into two of ex-premier Najib Razak’s bank accounts in 2015 from SRC International, a company then under state fund 1MDB, was he even aware of this?

And if he was, did he know the money was illegitimate?

These questions lie at the heart of Najib’s trial in SRC International, as both the prosecution and defence laid out their submissions at the tail end of the case on Tuesday (Oct 22).

Malaysia’s public prosecutor said Najib was complicit in the whole affair, as he did not lodge a police report even though he was said to be in “shock” at seeing the huge sum of money in the accounts.

Najib faces seven charges over the misappropriation of the RM42 million.

His defence lawyers, on the other hand, said the prosecution has failed to prove a prima facie case against him.

The court had from July 4 heard testimonies from 57 witnesses in the closely-watched SRC trial.

He faces another 25 charges, in a separate, ongoing trial, of receiving RM2.1 billion of 1MDB funds.

“The accused did not lodge any police report or write to the bank to enquire/question why these unauthorised funds came into his accounts,” Public Prosecutor and Attorney-General Tommy Thomas said in written submissions nearly 300 pages long on Tuesday, at the end of the prosecution case.

“He did not commence any legal action against the bank which has now led to him being charged with criminal offences,” Tan Sri Thomas said.

The prosecutor said: “The accused’s expression of shock and being upset was pure ‘drama’. By his conduct, the accused has proved that he has committed CBT (criminal breach of trust).”

But Najib’s defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh argued otherwise.

“The bulk of evidence in fact leads to reasonable inferences that the transactions involving the RM42 million were carried out without Najib’s knowledge and involvement and the impetus and purpose was unconnected to any act by Najib.”

SRC, described as “a two-dollar company” by the prosecution as it was formed with a paid up capital of RM2, had received RM4 billion from the civil servant pension fund KWAP in loans guaranteed by the Finance Ministry, the court heard. Najib was both prime minister and finance minister at the time.

The prosecution had detailed over the course of the trial how the money was used for private spending, including the purchase of designer items, luxury jewelry, and hotel stays.

The submissions will continue on Wednesday.

The trial will resume from Dec 3 to 19 if Najib is ordered to enter his defence. The High Court will deliver a decision on Nov 11.

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