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LIVE Day 87: MACC officer: Arab prince not even around when statement recorded

LIVE DAY 87 | The criminal trial of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak involving the alleged misappropriation of funds from SRC International Sdn Bhd enters day 87 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

  • MACC officer: Arab prince not around when statement recorded

  • Najib's defence decides not to call former MIC legal advisor

  • Arab prince did not sign MACC statement on letters of donation to Najib  
  • MACC officer confirms recording statement from Nik Faisal in Indonesia in 2015


Thank you for following Malaysiakini's live report

6.35pm - Thank you for following our live report today.

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

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Court adjourns, defence may call Latheefa Koya to the stand tomorrow

5.15pm - Proceedings adjourn for the day and will resume at 2.30pm tomorrow.

This is because lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah has a matter to attend at the Court of Appeal tomorrow morning.

The defence is expected to call MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya to the witness stand tomorrow.


MACC officer: Arab prince not even around when statement recorded

4.50pm - The alleged Arab prince, through his attorney, confirms that the four letters on donation to Najib Abdul Razak, was not even in the room when MACC recorded the statement, the High Court hears.

The court also hears from MACC officer Fikri Ab Rahim that he is not sure if the said prince was even in the royal palace in Riyadh, where the MACC statement was recorded on Nov 29, 2015.

Previously, the court hears that MACC recorded a statement signed by the Arab prince's attorney, Abdullah al-Koman, which allegedly confirms the Arab donation to Najib.


No follow-up questions after statements recorded, says witness

4.44pm - MACC officer Fikri Ab Rahim agrees that it is strange that there were no follow-up questions to an alleged Arab prince as well as Jho Low's associate, Tan Kim Loong, when their statements were recorded in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Nov 29, 2015.

The defence witness says this during cross-examination by DPP V Sithambaram.

Previously, the court heard that Prince Saud Abdul Aziz, through his attorney Abdullah al-Koman, signed a MACC statement in Riyadh, where the attorney's signed statement "confirmed" the four letters on an Arab donation to then premier Najib Abdul Razak.

The court also previously heard from MACC officer Mohd Nasharudin Amir, who was part of the MACC team that went to Riyadh in November 2015 as part of an investigation into the RM2.6 billion donation issue, had testified that Tan's statement seemed to be "cut and paste".

Nasharudin had also previously testified that the statement signed by Abdullah seemed to be pre-prepared.

Sithambaram: According to Nasharudin, Tan Kim Loong's statement seemed to be prepared ahead of time, cut and paste into the MACC statement?

Fikri: I am not sure.

Sithambaram: The (MACC) statement by (Abdullah) al-Koman seemed to be pre-prepared ahead of time?

Fikri: I do not know.

Sithambaram: You agree that as an experienced (MACC) officer, after statements are taken, there should have been follow-up questions on the answers given by the witnesses?

Fikri: Yes.

Sithambaram: It is strange that there are no such follow-up questions here?

Fikri: There is none (in agreement).


4.31pm - Proceedings resume after break, with DPP V Sithambaram to cross-examine defence witness, MACC officer Fikri Ab Rahim.


Defence decides not to call former MIC legal advisor

3.46pm - Najib Abdul Razak's defence has decided not to call former MIC legal advisor Selva Mookiah to the witness stand.

The former premier's lead lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah informs the Kuala Lumpur High Court this.

Shafee says it is because the testimony of MACC officer Fikri Ab Rahim (above), who was part of the MACC team that went to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in late Nov 2015, is currently sufficient.

Selva was also at Riyadh during the same time that the MACC team was taking statements in relation to the RM2.6 billion donation issue involving then-premier Najib.

On wrapping up examination-in-chief of Fikri, DPP V Sithambaram asks for break of proceedings so the prosecution can prepare cross-examination of Fikri.

Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali then allows half an hour break.


Arab prince did not sign MACC statement on letters of donation to Najib 

3.45pm - An Arab prince did not personally sign a MACC statement "confirming" the four letters on the Arab donation to Najib Abdul Razak, due to immunity issue, the High Court hears.

MACC officer in charge of anti-money laundering, Fikri Ab Rahim, testifies this during examination-in-chief by lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Fikri testifies that he was a member of the MACC team that went to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in November 2015, as part of an investigation into the RM2.6 billion donation issue involving then-premier Najib.

Previously, MACC officer Mohd Nasharudin Amir, who was part of the team, had testified that the statement was not signed by Prince Saud Abdul Aziz Malik Abdul Aziz al-Saud, it was instead signed by the prince's attorney, Abdullah al-Koman.

The MACC statement purportedly confirms the authenticity of four letters on the Arab donation to Najib.

Fikri: The statement that I read was in relation to Prince Saud but signed by (Abdullah al-Koman).

Shafee: Why is it that Saud did not sign it?

Fikri: Due to their immunity, we could not just merely approach and try to take the (Arab princes') statement.


 I was shown passport of Arab prince, MACC officer testifies

3.29pm - MACC officer Fikri Ab Rahim testifies that he was shown a passport by the purported Arab prince that "confirmed" four letters in regards to the Arab donation to then premier Najib Abdul Razak.

Defence witness Fikri says this during examination-in-chief by Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Fikri, who was then in MACC's anti-money laundering unit, was also part of the MACC team that went to Saudi Arabia in November 2015 as part of an investigation into the RM2.6 billion donation to Najib.

Fikri testifies that while at the purported King Abdullah's palace in Riyadh on Nov 29, 2015, he (Fikri) was shown the passport of Prince Saud Abdul Aziz.

Fikri says that while at the purported palace, he met a group of people, with one of them being Prince Saud Abdul Aziz, allegedly. Fikri was then informed that they would only be showing their passport.

When Shafee asks who told Fikri that they would only show their passport without allowing it to be photocopied, Fikri says that it was Prince Turki who said it.

Fikri: Then I saw the passport of al Saud.

Shafee: That was (passport of) Prince Saud Abdul Aziz al Saud?

Fikri: Yes.

Prince Saud, through his attorney Abdullah al-Koman, was alleged to have signed a statement confirming the authenticity of four letters on the Arab donation to Najib.


MACC team performed Umrah thanks to Saudi authorities

3.13pm - The MACC team that went to Saudi Arabia in November 2015 was then brought by the Middle Eastern authorities to perform the Umrah at Mecca, the High Court hears.

Defence witness, MACC officer Fikri Ab Rahim, testifies this during examination-in-chief by lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Fikri was part of the MACC team that went to Saudi Arabia that year as part of an investigation into the RM2.6 billion donation issue involving then premier Najib Abdul Razak.

Among those in the MACC team was current MACC deputy chief commissioner Azam Baki and then DPP Dzulkifli Ahmad.

Fikri said that on reaching Saudi Arabia on Nov 28, 2015, they found out that the team needs to perform the Umrah first before they could record a statement from Prince Saud Abdul Aziz Malik Abdul Aziz al-Saud.

The prince, allegedly through his attorney Abdullah al-Koman, signed a statement by the MACC team in November 2015, that purportedly confirms four letters on an Arab donation to Najib.

Fikri said that the team was informed that they could only see the Arab prince after they performed the Umrah as they are guests of the Saudis.

"We went to Jeddah, there was a police team that brought us as guests to Mecca," says Fikri.  

"We were brought by police escort on a flight to Mecca. I think the jet is owned by the (Saudi) government, there is a crown (sign) of the Saudi Arabian government.

"We went to Jeddah first, then the police team brought us to a guest room of the government at Mecca," Fikri says.


MACC officer confirms recording statement from Nik Faisal in Indonesia in 2015

3.05pm - MACC officer Fikri Ab Rahim testifies that he took a statement from SRC International CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil in Indonesia on Oct 17, 2015.

The defence witness tells lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee this during examination-in-chief.

Fikri says the MACC managed to secure the interview with Nik Faisal after going through lawyer Selva Mookiah (above), who at one point was MIC legal advisor.


2.42pm - Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak enters the dock as proceedings before Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali begins.

Also seen in court are the accused's lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and other members of the defence team, as well as DPP V Sithambaram and other DPPs.


The 87th day of Najib Abdul Razak's RM42 million SRC International trial inches closer to completion, with the coming Monday targeted for the defence to wrap up its case.

Yesterday, before the Kuala Lumpur High Court, lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah indicated that the defence has a good prospect of completing all defence witnesses testifying in proceedings on Monday.

As Shafee has to attend to a separate matter at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya this morning, the RM42 million SRC trial before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali is set to resume around 2.30pm instead of the usual 9am.

Today's SRC trial is expected to see former MIC legal advisor Selva Mookiah take the witness stand.

He was alleged to have accompanied a MACC investigative team to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in late November 2015 as part of an investigation into the RM2.6 billion donation issue involving then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Yesterday, the defence team also tendered three MACC statements, one by 1MDB-linked businessperson Jho Low claiming that he did not control Najib's bank accounts and had no authority to decide in troubled sovereign wealth fund 1MDB and its former subsidiary SRC International.

Another MACC statement by Tan Kim Loong, who is the purported beneficiary owner of several companies that sent millions of ringgit to Najib, has him (Tan) claiming that he did not know who received the money.

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