Najib's SRC trial: War of words erupts between prosecution and defence over unrelated documents

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 24 Apr 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: There was a brief war of words at the High Court here between the prosecution and the defence during the Datuk Seri Najib Razak's SRC International Sdn Bhd trial on Wednesday (April 24).

Najib's lawyer Harvinderjit Singh had sought to obtain more documents from Affin Bank about the millions that were allegedly misappropriated from SRC which flowed to its subsidiary Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and then to Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd before being channelled to unknown recipients.

Ihsan Perdana is the corporate social responsibility unit of SRC.

He made the request after cross-examining Affin Bank processing officer Rosaiah Mohamed Rosli, saying that it was essential to know where the rest of the money went, though it had nothing to do with the charges Najib was facing.

"If the prosecution's case is that out of SRC, the total of RM42mil ended up in accounts belonging to Datuk Seri Najib, then it is also relevant to know that over RM60mil have ended up somewhere else," he told the court.

Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali then questioned Harvinderjit if the RM60mil had anything to do with the charges, to which the latter replied no.

"It is part of our defence that there are people in SRC and Gandingan Mentari who were doing some serious business, questionable and dubious business where money from SRC have been channelled to a number of entities and then issued to unknown recipients.

"Part of those monies may have ended up in the accounts of Datuk Seri Najib but a bigger portion ends up with other recipients," said Harvinderjit.

Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram objected, saying that the case is based on seven specific charges and the court is not going to conduct an inquiry on how other monies unrelated to the charges were spent or used.

"If we go on this thread, if this is actually allowed for every banker and there are other bankers coming, we will have to go on a wild goose chase which has no relevance to the charge and that is why we humbly submit that they have not me the necessity, relevance and desirability that the documents are important for the defence," said Sithambaram.

To this, Harvinderjit responded that the same people who put money in Najib's account might have also swiped away RM61mil.

"It is my client's defence, that he was manipulated by certain people and these people have gained tremendously and the money trail follows. We are at liberty to prove our defence because the witness who is competent is here," he said.

Justice Mohd Nazlan then ruled that the defence will be allowed to obtain one additional document involving a cheque issued by Ihsan Perdana.

Rosaiah had earlier testified that Affin Bank credited RM40mil into the account of its client Ihsan Perdana from an AmIslamic Bank account belonging to Gandingan Mentari on Dec 24, 2014, the same day Affin Bank received data through single credit confirmation advice on the same day to do so.

She also confirmed that the bank received the similar data on Feb 5 and 6 in 2015 to credit Ihsan Perdana's account with RM5mil each day from Gandingan Mentari's AmIslamic Bank account.

Najib faces seven charges involving RM42mil belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

On July 4 last year, Najib claimed trial to a charge of abuse of power and three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) linked to the 1MDB scandal.

He allegedly misappropriated RM42mil in funds belonging to SRC International.

On Aug 8 last year, he appeared in court again and was charged with three counts of money laundering involving the same RM42mil.

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