KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not declare his interests in SRC International Sdn Bhd despite chairing a Cabinet meeting that discussed a memorandum relating to a RM2bil in government guarantee for the company.
The High Court heard this on Tuesday (June 18) when former Cabinet deputy secretary-general Tan Sri Mazidah Abdul Majid testified in the SRC International case.
He said that based on the minutes of the meeting on Feb 8, 2012, Najib - who was the advisor emeritus of SRC International - did not make any declaration of his interests in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) subsidiary.
She said neither did any of the Cabinet members ask him to leave the meeting before the memorandum was discussed.
According to Mazidah, after the meeting ended, a draft of the minutes was prepared by a team under her supervision on the same day and finalised in the same week.
The minutes indicated that the Cabinet ministers did not object to the loan.
Mazidah testified during the examination-in-chief by Deputy Public Prosecutor Muhammad Izzat Fauzan that it was a practice for Cabinet members to declare their interests in any matters that would come up before the Cabinet.
“The declaration would be noted in the meeting's minutes. The minister would have to leave the meeting during the discussion,” she said.
The witness gave three instances where ministers, including Najib, had excused themselves from Cabinet meetings due to conflict of interest.
She said former youth and sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin and former defence minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein had left meetings.
“Based on a Cabinet record, Najib had left a meeting in November, 2012, that involved a memorandum regarding CIMB Bank Berhad,” she added.
Najib’s brother Datuk Seri Nazir was the chairman of CIMB Group Holdings Bhd.
Mazidah explained that there was an article under the code of ethics which governed ministers and deputy ministers that spoke about conflict of interest.
“It listed that for things to be tabled before Cabinet, ministers with conflicts of interest must leave and this must be recorded in the minutes. The article was amended by Cabinet in 2013 but did not affect the part on conflicts of interest,” she said.
Najib is facing seven charges involving RM42mil in funds belonging to SRC International, formerly a subsidiary of 1MDB.
On July 4 last year, Najib claimed trial to a charge of abuse of power and three counts of criminal breach of trust linked to the 1MDB scandal.
He allegedly misappropriated RM42mil in funds belonging to SRC International.
On Aug 8 last year, he was charged with three counts of money laundering involving the same RM42mil.
The hearing continues before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali on Wednesday (June 19).