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Najib SRC trial: Two MACC officers confirm recording statements from Jerome Lee and Jho Low

LIVE DAY 86 | The criminal trial of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak involving the alleged misappropriation of funds from SRC International Sdn Bhd enters day 86 today 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
  • ClickTap to view information on judge, prosecution and defence team


KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Two MACC officers confirm recording statements from Jerome Lee and Jho Low
  • Prosecution objects tendering of Jho Low's associate Tan Kim Loong's MACC statement
  • Former MIC legal advisor was with MACC team in Riyadh, court hears
  • Judge advises defence to be committed to prepare witnesses for trial
  • Najib's defence team may wrap up case on Monday next week


Thank you for following Malaysiakini's live report

1.35pm - Thank you for following our live report today.

Reporting by Hidir Reduan Abdul Rashid. Photographs by Syazwan Kamal.

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Two MACC officers confirm recording statements from Jerome Lee and Jho Low

11.17am - MACC officers Azhari Karim and Ting Ing Ping testify having recorded statements from Jerome Lee and Low Taek Jho, respectively.

Both defence witnesses confirm this during examination-in-chief by Najib Abdul Razak's counsel Farhan Read.

Jerome Lee (above) was an alleged associate of Jho Low. Both of these 1MDB-linked fugitives could not be located now.

DPP V Sithambaram informs the court that the prosecution has no cross-examination questions for the two witnesses.

Both Azhari and Ting were then released from the witness stand.

The contents of the MACC statements of Lee and Low Taek Jho or Jho Low were not read out in court.

As the defence do not have further witnesses for today, Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali allows proceedings to be adjourned to 2.30pm tomorrow.

At the end of proceedings today, Shafee indicates to the court that the two witnesses that would be called to testify tomorrow are former MIC legal advisor Selva Mookiah and an MACC officer.

The proceedings will resume at 2.30pm tomorrow as Shafee has a matter at the Court of Appeal tomorrow morning.


10.59am - Proceedings resume after break.


10.33am - The court allows a short break.


Prosecution objects tendering of Jho Low's associate Tan Kim Loong's MACC statement

10.27am - The prosecution objects to the defence's bid to tender alleged Jho Low associate Tan Kim Loong's statement recorded by the MACC in Saudi Arabia in late Nov 2015.

DPP V Sithambaram argues that this is because there is no conclusive evidence that the statement recorded was indeed from Tan Kim Loong (below).

Sithambaram argues that the investigating officer who recorded the statement confirmed that it was a pre-prepared statement.

The investigating officer here is believed to be in reference to MACC assistant commissioner Mohd Nasharudin Amir, who was part of the MACC team that went to Saudi Arabia in late Nov 2015.

Nasharudin previously testified that the team went there as part of investigation into the RM2.6 billion donation issue involving then-premier Najib Abdul Razak.

"It is unknown who prepared the statement, it is cut and paste as MACC statement given by Tan Kim Loong," Sithambaram says.

However, Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali allows Tan's statement to be tendered as an exhibit.

However during proceedings later, lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah merely asks Nasharudin to confirm the content of Tan's MACC statement without going into detail.


Former MIC legal advisor was with MACC team in Riyadh, court hears

10.05am - Former MIC legal advisor Selva Mookiah was with the MACC team during a 1MDB probe linked visit to Riyadh on Nov 29 2015, the High Court hears.

Ninth defence witness, MACC Mohd Nasharudin Amir testifies this during cross-examination by DPP V Sithambaram.

Nasharudin was an investigating officer into the RM2.6 billion donation issue linked to then-premier Najib Abdul Razak in 2015.

He had earlier testified that he was part of an MACC team that went to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in late Nov 2015.

Previously, Nasharudin testified that he and another MACC officer took a statement from an alleged Arab prince, Prince Saud Abdul Aziz Malik Abdul Aziz, whereby said statement was signed by the Arab prince's attorney, in Riyadh on Nov 29, 2015.

Nasharudin (above) also had previously testified that they took pre-recorded statements by alleged Jho Low's associate, Tan Kim Loong, there in Riyadh.

Sithambaram: You met Selva Mookiah on Nov 29 2015, while taking the statements (in Riyadh)?

Nasharudin: Yes.

Sithambaram: In what capacity was he (Selva) in Riyadh during the recording of the two statements. Who is he representing?

Nasharudin: I am not sure what was his job in Riyadh, I only know he was there when the statements were taken.

Sithambaram: If there is a lawyer with an MACC team during the recording (of the statements), what was his role there?

Nasharudin: I do not know.

Sithambaram: Did he (Selva) say that he was a lawyer for Tan Kim Loong or anyone else?

Nasharudin: None.

Selva is one among witnesses that Najib's defence team sought to call to the witness stand.


9.47am - MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya comes into court.

She explains to the court that she could not testify today and only can be done on Thursday.

Earlier, lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah explained to the court that there was a mistake in the subpoena to Latheefa and said that she could only testify later.

Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali then allows Latheefa to testify on Thursday.


Judge advises defence to be committed to prepare witnesses for trial

9.43am - Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali advises Najib Abdul Razak's defence to be committed to prepare their witnesses for trial.

"This cannot go on. Need commitment (to prepare witnesses for Najib's RM42 million SRC International trial)," Nazlan tells lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

The judge says this following Shafee informing the court that both MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya (above) and former MIC legal advisor Selva Mookiah are not ready to testify today.

Yesterday, Shafee informed the court that Latheefa and Selva were ready to testify today.


Najib's defence team may wrap up case on Monday next week

9.45am - Najib Abdul Razak's defence team expresses the possibility that they may be able to wrap up their case on Monday next week, the High Court hears.

Lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah says this to DPP V Sithambaram, who said it is hoped the defence can close their case on Monday.


9.37am - Former premier Najib Abdul Razak enters the dock as proceedings before Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali begins.


MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya is among witnesses that the defence is ready to call on the 86th day of Najib Abdul Razak’s RM42 million SRC International trial today.

Yesterday, at the end of proceedings, lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah informed the Kuala Lumpur High Court that she and former MIC legal adviser Selva Mookiah are two defence witnesses that can be called to proceedings today.

Latheefa’s testimony is sought by former premier Najib’s defence team in relation to the MACC on Jan 8 exposing audio recordings of conversations allegedly involving the accused and several other personalities in relation to the 1MDB scandal.

Yesterday, the prosecution tried to tender as evidence a Jakim bulletin dated Feb 2010 in an attempt to verify then minister in the prime minister’s department Jamil Khir Baharom’s whereabouts on Jan 11 that same year.

The Jakim bulletin allegedly stated that Jamil, who was then the minister in charge of Islamic affairs, was at a related programme at Putrajaya on that date.

In past proceedings on Feb 11, Jamil Khir testified that he was part of a Najib-led delegation to Saudi Arabia on Jan 11, 2010, and that on that date (Jan 11 2010) at Riyadh, the Middle Eastern kingdom’s then ruler King Abdullah Abdulaziz al Saud had allegedly promised financial donation to the accused.

However, Najib’s defence team yesterday objected to the document being tendered as evidence, with Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali then only allowing the document to be tendered as ID (Identification Document) rather than as exhibit (ID means that during proceedings, a witness can only be referred to the document without its contents being read out in court).

When proceedings before Nazlan resumes around 9am this morning, the defence team is expected to conduct a bit more re-examination of the ninth defence witness, MACC assistant commissioner Mohd Nasharudin Amir.

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