KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The 39th witness in Datuk Seri Najib Razak's trial on Friday (June 14) denied that the proposal to change ownership of SRC International Sdn Bhd from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to Minister of Finance (Incorporated) (MKD) was mooted by the company itself.
Former SRC board of directors chairman Tan Sri Ismee Ismail, 54, when cross-examined by Najib's counsel Harvinderjit Singh, said the ownership change was approved in February 2012 on the former prime minister's instructions in his capacity as finance minister.
Earlier, counsel referred the witness to minutes of a board meeting held in February 2012.
The lawyer also suggested that then SRC chief executive officer and managing director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil had told the board regarding instructions to change the ownership of the company.
Ismee, who was also a former board member of SRC agreed with the suggestion and admitted that apart from what was disclosed in the minutes of the meeting, he was not told how the issue of changing ownership arose.
Harvinderjit also referred the witness to a letter, which stated that on Jan 17, 2012, a meeting was held between SRC and former Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop who also led the Economic Planning Unit (EPU).
Lawyer: This letter also mentioned that SRC had instructed the change of ownership?
Witness: I don't agree.
Ismee, however, agreed that Najib was never a signatory of the SRC's bank accounts and thus could not have been directly involved in disbursing RM1.8bil for overseas investment.
Lawyer: The prime minister as emeritus adviser (to SRC International) was never a signatory of any account of SRC International?
Meanwhile, Harvinderjit informed the court that the defence would decide later whether to challenge the alleged contradiction in Ismee's testimony and his witness statement.
"We have looked at the transcripts over the past four days (of trial). We will make a decision in due course," the lawyer said.
On Thursday (June 13), Najib's trial was cut short as the defence team wanted to scrutinise the court recording transcription (CRT) after Ismee testified that the board followed the resolutions of the company's shareholders, yet in his written witness statement he said the board followed the advice of Najib, as he was the Advisor Emeritus of SRC.
Before ending Friday's proceedings, Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali asked Harvinderjit whether the defence still had many questions to ask Ismee, noting that the latter had been on the witness stand since Tuesday (June 11).
Mohd Nazlan: You have many questions to ask this witness?
Lawyer: It will end on Monday.
The judge also reminded Ismee not to discuss the case with the public as he had yet to be released as witness.
"Don't worry, my wife is not asking," Ismee said which drew laughter from the gallery.
Najib, 66, faces three counts of criminal breach of trust, one charge of abusing his position and three counts of money laundering involving SRC International Sdn Bhd funds amounting to RM42mil.
The hearing continues on Monday (June 17). – Bernama