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Day 8: Court adjourns, to resume at 9am tomorrow

Malaysiakini Team  |  Published:  |  Modified:

LIVE | The eighth day of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak's criminal trial involving SRC International Sdn Bhd takes place at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysiakini brings you live reports of the proceedings.

Summary of Najib’s SRC RM42 million case

Najib is facing 7 charges relating to RM42m involving SRC International, a former 1MDB subsidiary.

  • 1 abuse of power charge
  • 3 criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges
  • 3 money laundering charges


KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Court adjourns, to resume at 9am tomorrow
  • Shafee asks for adjournment, AG rebuts 'justice must go on'
  • RM3.28m transferred to two credit cards
  • 'I am tired and bored' - defence counsel
  • Najib closed two AmBank accounts containing RM12m in 2013
  • Najib had 5 AmBank accounts from 2011 to 2015
  • Fund transfers between SRC International and subsidiaries verified
  • SRC ordered transfer of RM40m - bank manager
  • 'SRC's AmBank accounts had 5 authorised signatories'
  • Heated debate over whether to reveal more Ihsan Perdana transactions
  • 'Ihsan Perdana received RM50m from 2014-2015'
  • Ex-CIMB officer confirms bank processed RM2.5m cheque in 2015
  • Witness testifies receiving RM2.5m for defence contract
  • Proceedings begin
  • Najib arrives at KL High Court


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Reporting by Hidir Reduan and Hariz Mohd. Photographs by Azneal Ishak. Social media updates by Ewe Ling Yenn.

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Court adjourns, to resume at 9am tomorrow

5.32pm - Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali reminds all parties to arrive punctually tomorrow, as proceedings will begin at 9am sharp.

"Everyone needs to come on time. It (proceedings) will start at 9am sharp tomorrow," the judge reminds the prosecution and the defence.

Nazlan is responding to DPP Suhaimi Ibrahim, who is asking for proceedings to be adjourned until tomorrow as AmBank branch manager R Uma Devi's testimony, which has been ongoing for the past several hours, has just entered new territory.

The judge then allows proceedings to resume tomorrow at 9am. 


Shafee asks for adjournment, AG rebuts 'justice must go on'

5pm - Lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah tries to apply for proceedings be adjourned for the day.

He says proceedings might as well resume tomorrow as witness R Uma Devi, who is AmBank's Raja Chulan bank manager, will still be testifying the whole day tomorrow.

"It is a good idea to take a break as some of us need to see daylight," he says, eliciting chuckles from the public gallery.

However, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas (photo below) disagrees.

"This is a test of stamina. Justice must go on. The witness (Uma) is still there (at the witness stand)," says Thomas, who is the lead prosecutor.

Shafee shoots back that the witness too may be tired and that some of them in court need to exercise.

"I would like my time. I do not wish to be stuck in court," he says, adding that some of them have matters outside court that they need to attend to.

Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali orders proceedings to continue for the next half-hour.


RM3.28m transferred to two credit cards

4.28pm - AmBank's Raja Chulan branch manager R Uma Devi testifies that the branch, on Aug 11, 2014, was ordered to transfer more than RM3.28 million from Najib Abdul Razak's Ambank account to two credit card accounts.

She is reading her witness statement during examination-in-chief by DPP Suhaimi Ibrahim this afternoon.

"I refer to a letter of instruction dated Aug 11, 2014, which is a debit instruction.

"I confirm that the letter of instruction read to transfer RM3,282,734.16 from the AmBank account of Najib.

"The letter ordered to use RM449,586.95 from the RM3,282,734.16 to be credited into a credit card of Visa Platinum.

"The balance of RM2,833,147.21 was credited into a Mastercard Platinum credit card," she says, referring to both cards being issued by Ambank.

However, she does not say to whom the credit cards belong to.


'I am tired and bored' - defence counsel

Editor's note: The use of the word 'bored' has been confirmed after clarification. 

4.02pm - Lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (photo below) injects mirth into the proceedings when he admits to being tired and seeks a short recess.

"We are almost halfway (through today's proceedings). I am quite tired and bored. I am not sure about the witness, but can we have a short break?" Najib Abdul Razak's lead defence lawyer asks the judge.

This causes witness R Uma Devi, the former premier and the public gallery to burst into laughter.

Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali then allows Shafee's application for a short break of proceedings, following hours of testimony by Uma Devi.


Najib closed two AmBank accounts containing RM12m in 2013

3.45pm - AmBank's Raja Chulan branch manager R Uma Devi confirms that a savings account and a current account belonging to former premier Najib Abdul Razak had bank balances of RM12,436,711.87 and RM82.67 respectively.

Both accounts were closed on Aug 30, 2013. 

She tells DPP Suhaimi Ibrahim this during the examination-in-chief this afternoon.


Najib had 5 AmBank accounts from 2011 to 2015

3.30pm - Former premier Najib Abdul Razak opened and closed five accounts with AmBank's Raja Chulan branch between Jan 13, 2011 and March 9, 2015.

The bank's branch manager R Uma Devi tells DPP Suhaimi Ibrahim this during the examination-in-chief.

She states that four were current accounts and one was a savings account.

The savings account was opened on Jan 18, 2011 and closed on Aug 30, 2013.

One of the current accounts was opened on Jan 13, 2011, and the other three on July 31, 2013.

The first current account was closed on Aug 30, 2013, while the other three accounts were closed on March 9, 2015.


Fund transfers between SRC International and subsidiaries verified

3.05pm - R Uma Devi testifies that SRC International subsidiary Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd had submitted an application to open a current account with AmBank’s Raja Chulan branch on July 23, 2014.

The branch manager says Gandingan Mentari had attached a board of directors resolution as a supporting document in the application, which stated that Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and Suboh Md Yassin were the authorised signatories for the account.

According to Uma Devi, the company's account statement for the period between July 23, 2014 and Aug 16, 2015 showed that Gandingan Mentari had received three money transfers from SRC International.

The three transactions were on Dec 24, 2014 for RM40 million, and RM 5 million each on Feb 5 and Feb 6, 2015.

Uma Devi then testified that Gandingan Mentari's account statement during the same period also showed that the company had transferred RM40 million to Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd on Dec 24, 2014.

Ihsan Perdana was the corporate social responsibility arm of SRC International. 


SRC ordered transfer of RM40m - bank manager

2.55pm - AmBank Raja Chulan branch manager R Uma Devi confirms that AmBank relationship manager Krystle Yap sent an email dated Dec 24, 2014, asking the branch to abide by an order letter (surat arahan) from SRC International to transfer RM40 million from SRC International's account to Gandingan Mentari's account.

Gandingan Mentari is a subsidiary of SRC International.

During examination-in-chief by DPP Suhaimi, Uma, in reading out her voluminous witness statement, says the bank's Raja Chulan branch received the directive, which was premised on SRC's letter signed by Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and Suboh Md Yassin.

The two are among five signatories for SRC International's AmBank current accounts, as testified by Uma earlier.

"Krystle Yap is one of the relationship managers working there (at AmBank's Raja Chulan branch)," Uma adds.


'SRC's AmBank accounts had 5 authorised signatories'

12.30pm - AmBank Raja Chulan branch manager R Uma Devi (photo below) testifies that two current AmIslamic accounts under the name of SRC International were opened at the branch in 2011.

During examination-in-chief by DPP Suhaimi, Uma says the company made the application via an account-opening form dated Nov 10, 2011.

"SRC named five authorised signatories (for the opening of the current accounts) and specimen signatures were provided to AmBank.

"The signatories were Ismee Ismail, Che Abdullah Rashidi Che Omar, Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, and Suboh Md Yassin," she says.

The witness reads her testimony from a statement, and is expected to continue when proceedings resume after lunch.


Heated debate over whether to reveal more Ihsan Perdana transactions

11.50am - The defence team and prosecution get into a heated debate over whether Affin Bank processing officer Rosaiah Mohamed Rosli should produce documents in court related to other purported transactions involving millions of ringgit flowing in and out of Ihsan Perdana's bank account.

Defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh says the discovery application is necessary because the transactions must be looked at holistically, as it appears that SRC International, Gandingan Mentari and others were among the cheque recipients.

Gandingan Mentari was an SRC International subsidary, while Ihsan Perdana was the corporate social responsibility arm of SRC.

Harvinderjit (above) was referring to revelations concerning other transactions involving 11 cheques, through which millions of ringgit had gone in and out of Ihsan Perdana's Affin Bank account.

However, these transactions do not specifically relate to the seven charges faced by Najib.

"Because the source of the funds is on the document (sought by the defence), and are sourced from SRC, it would be relevant to discover where the cheques (from Ihsan Perdana) went to," he says.

"There are people in SRC and Gandingan Mentari doing some seriously questionable business, in which money went from SRC and to several entities and then ended up with unknown recipients.

"Some (allegedly) ended up with Najib but a bigger portion went to unknown recipients," Harvinderjit says.

Prosecutor V Sithambaram counters that the current charges before the court only involves RM42 million of SRC International's money, and that the court is not conducting an inquiry into how other funds unrelated to these charges are being spent or used.

"I submit that the principle of relevancy must be applied in the case.

"This application (by defence) is a general one for all transactions involving SRC International, Gandingan Mentari and Ihsan Perdana.

"Our case is only to the RM42 million according to the charges.

"If we go on this track, with other banks involved, we would be going on a wild goose chase with no relevance to the charges," Sithambaram argues.

Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali (below) ultimately allows the defence’s application, but limits it to one transaction involving RM10 million from Ihsan Perdana's Affin account.


'Ihsan Perdana received RM50m from 2014-2015'

10.20am - Rosaiah Mohamed Rosli, the 20th witness, confirms that Ihsan Perdana's Affin Bank account was credited with RM40 million (on Dec 24, 2014), RM5 million (on Feb 5, 2015), and RM5 million (on Feb 6, 2015).

During examination-in-chief by DPP Suhaimi, Rosaiah, who worked as a processing officer at Affin Bank, confirms that Ihsan Perdana's account with the bank was credited with the payment from Gandingan Mentari's AmIslamic bank account.

Gandingan Mentari was an SRC International subsidary, while Ihsan Perdana was the corporate social responsibility arm of SRC.

Rosaiah (below), whose job included handling electronic transfers among others, confirms that Affin Bank had received a single credit confirmation advice for the three transactions.


Ex-CIMB officer confirms bank processed RM2.5m cheque in 2015

10.06am - Nineteenth witness Edward Innasi, 58, who was CIMB deputy manager in 2015, confirms that the RM2.5 million cheque was processed by the bank that year.

He says this when shown the cheque by DPP Saifuddin.


Witness testifies receiving RM2.5m for defence contract

9.30am - Eighteenth witness, lawyer Ashraf Abdul Razak, testifies that the law firm he used to work at, Zulqarnain and Co, received RM2.5 million for a defence contract on Feb 2, 2015.

The 48-year-old, who now runs his own law firm, tells DPP Saifuddin during examination-in-chief that the cheque was given to him by Habibul Rahman Kadir, a known corporate figure.

Ashraf says Habibul was involved with his company Fuel Subs House Sdn Bhd.

"It is for a tender to manage fuel petrol subsidy.

"At that time, Habibul told me the payment was for a defence contract," Ashraf says.

Read more: Najib's confidant used law firm to receive RM2.5m, reveals witness

AmBank employee Badrul Hisham Mohamad had testified last week that a cheque made payable to Zulqarnain & Co for RM2.5 million had been issued from one of the accounts linked to Najib's SRC International trial.  


Day 8 proceedings begin

9.26am - Najib Abdul Razak enters the dock as proceedings begin.


Najib arrives at KL High Court

8.54am - Clad in a coffee-coloured suit, former premier Najib Abdul Razak calmly enters the courtroom and takes a seat at the front row of the public gallery, to await beginning of proceedings.

He is seen shaking hands with a police officer in court.


Summary of Najib’s SRC RM42 million case

Najib is facing 7 charges relating to RM42m involving SRC International, a former 1MDB subsidiary.

  • 1 abuse of power charge
  • 3 criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges

The criminal trial of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, involving the alleged misappropriation of funds from SRC International Sdn Bhd, enters its eighth day at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.

Najib is being tried on three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) under Section 409 of the Penal Code; three counts of money laundering under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLATFAPUAA) 2001; and one count of abuse of power under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009.

If convicted, the Pekan MP can be sentenced up to 20 years' jail, whipping and fine for the CBT charges; 20 years' jail and a fine not less than five times the amount involved or RM10,000, whichever is higher, for the abuse of power charge; and 15 years' jail and a fine up to RM15 million or five times the amount involved, whichever is higher, for the money laundering charges.

The trial, being presided over by judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, is expected to kick off at 9am today with testimonies from witnesses who could testify that several entities – political and non-political alike – received between thousands to millions of ringgit from AmBank accounts linked to Najib's SRC International case.

Today, the prosecution may call witnesses linked to these entities, such as Solar Shine Sdn Bhd, Zulqarnain & Co, prominent businessperson Lim Soon Peng, law firm Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak, and SRC International-linked company, Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd, among others.

Last Friday, fifth prosecution witness Badrul Hisham Mohamad, the former manager of AmBank's cheque clearance centre, testified that among the 17 AmIslamic cheques cleared in 2015 include RM1 million to Upko, RM1 million to Penang Umno’s communications unit, RM300,000 to Johor Bahru Umno, and RM50,000 to Padang Serai Umno chief Asmadi Abu Talib.

Badrul Hisham confirmed this after being presented with the cheques, which were among the documents and items seized in a Bank Negara raid on the Jalan Raja Chulan branch of AmBank on July 6, 2015.

Yesterday, the court heard testimony from four witnesses that touched on part of the money trail from the Ambank accounts.

The 14th witness, Centre for Strategic Engagement Sdn Bhd director Rita Sim Sai Hoon testified that she received a total of RM300,000 from Najib for the research outfit to carry out daily analysis of Chinese content in the Chinese vernacular dailies from December 2014 to January 2015.

The 15th witness, former Upko treasury-general Marcus Mojigoh told the court that the Sabah-based political party received RM1 million from Najib to conduct corporate social responsibility project, Projek Sayang.

The 16th witness, Layang-Layang assemblyperson Onn Hafiz Ghazi, a relative of Najib, testified that he was paid RM240,000 by the accused through company Vital Spire Sdn Bhd to operate the now-defunct Malaysian Digest news portal.

The 17th witness, Najib’s former political secretary Wong Nai Chee, testified that the accused had paid RM238,914 via cheque to Lim, to pay for the administration of Facebook page Ah Jib Gor and pay for “objective” content writers for Akademi Kewartawanan dan Informasi Taima.

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas leads the 13-person prosecution team, comprised of deputy public prosecutors Sulaiman Abdullah, V Sithambaram, Manoj Kurup, Ishak Mohd Yusoff, Donald Joseph Franklin, Suhaimi Ibrahim, Muhammad Saifuddin Hashim Musaimi, Sulaiman Kho Kheng Fuei, Budiman Lutfi Mohamed, Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul, and Muhammad Izzat Fauzan.

Najib is represented by a 13-person defence team led by veteran criminal lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Other members of the defence team are former solicitor-general II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, Harvinderjit Singh, Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, Chong Loong Men, Devanandan S Subramaniam, Farhan Read, Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed, Rahmat Hazlan, Muhammad Farhan Shafee, Tiara Katrina Fuad, Nur Syahirah Hanapiah, and Zahria Eleena Redza.

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