More explosive testimonies emerged this week in the trial of Najib Abdul Razak involving RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds, with a key witness disclosing that the company’s chief executive officer Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil has “the mountain behind him” and was emboldened by his position in the company.
Following are testimonies from former non-executive chairperson of SRC International, Suboh Md Yassin during the trial before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali this week.
Day 30 (July 1)
- Suboh told the High Court that he signed three request letters for fund transfer totalling RM50 million involving the company and two of its subsidiaries on the orders of Nik Faisal.
- He said so when referred to three fund transfer request letters by deputy public prosecutor Ishak Mohd Yusoff relating to three bank transactions of RM40 million, RM5 million and RM5 million from SRC to Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd between Dec 24, 2014 and Feb 6, 2015.
- Suboh said he signed the fund transfer request letters as he was asked by Nik Faisal to sign.
- The 42nd prosecution witness said he never questioned Nik Faisal about the matter (fund transfer request letters) as the CEO was responsible for SRC's financial affairs and administration.
- He also said Nik Faisal may have forged his signatures on bank documents related to the transfer of funds by SRC. The transfer of funds was alleged to involve millions of ringgit from SRC to its two subsidiaries Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd.
- This was disclosed by lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the lead counsel for Najib, when cross-examining Suboh where the defence had used a projector machine to compare Suboh’s signatures on several hard copies and scanned documents.
- The lawyer raised an issue how all of Suboh’s signatures on 11 bank documents on scanned copies were identical, with same sizes and structures and matched perfectly, and how Suboh’s signatures on hard copies were totally different from scanned copies.
Day 31 (July 2)
- Suboh also said that signatures on SRC documents alleged to be his were different from his own and agreed that the signature samples were not similar to those on the documents, which include instructions to AmIslamic Bank to transfer monies between SRC International, Gandingan Mentari and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd.
- Suboh told the High Court that Nik Faisal had “the mountain behind him” and was emboldened by his position in the company and gave two reasons for saying so.
- “You know, he is emboldened by his position. Why? Number one, he is the CEO of the company...he is a very powerful person. Number two, he is emboldened because he has somebody behind him like the Chinese metonymy, 'the mountain behind him'. That’s him.. so he brushes us aside, reduces us the board of directors to nothing," said Suboh.
- "I wanted to explain that day, but you all (lawyers) objected. So I did not explain,” he said when cross-examined by Najib’s counsel Harvinderjit Singh.
Day 32 (July 3)
- The witness also agreed with Najib’s lawyer’s suggestion that none of the directors in SRC or Nik Faisal told him that there was another account for SRC with the account number ending 736.
- The witness also pointed out that he had never seen the bank statement of the so-called SRC's ‘secret’ account. In fact, he said the transactions from January 2011 to Aug 31, 2015, were beyond his knowledge.
- The High Court today was told of a surprising fact - that one of SRC International Sdn Bhd’s bank accounts only had RM264 in its balance, contradicting Nik Faisal’s claim that the account still had RM16 million.
- Suboh agreed to this after he was shown documents to an account ending 650 by Harvinderjit and said there was only RM264 left in the balance as of Feb 28, 2012 and Suboh was a signatory of the account.
- However, another entry on Feb 29, 2012 for a 'mystery' account ending 736 stated there was a balance of RM17,808.60.
- Suboh also maintained that his statement to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was “from his own mouth” and dismissed the suggestion by Harvinderjit that he was guided by MACC officers or deputy public prosecutors, or discussed with them while preparing his witness statement for the purpose of the trial.
- The issue arose when Harvinderjit asked whether Suboh knew that some parts of his witness statement on Najib’s role in the company were similar with Ismee Ismail’s (former SRC board chairperson) witness statement.
- The lawyer pointed to the paragraph which also stated that SRC board members would act in accordance with the advice of SRC’s advisor emeritus, Najib.
- On the RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP), the witness said he had no knowledge of how and where the money was transferred to.
- SRC secured a RM2 billion loan on Aug 28, 2011 from KWAP and a second loan of RM2 billion on March 28, 2012.
- He said he also did not know on the second loan of RM2 billion, that on March 28, 2018 the money came into SRC’s account and two days later the money was transferred to another account.
- Suboh said he also had no knowledge how RM4 billion was utilised.
Najib, 66, is facing three counts of criminal breach of trust, one count of abusing his position and three counts of money laundering involving SRC International Sdn Bhd funds amounting to RM42 million.
The hearing continues on Monday.