KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak had been misled regarding the transactions and balances of his bank accounts, which were manipulated by third parties without his knowledge and approval, according to his lawyer.
Lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (pic) told the High Court that his client was not involved in any corrupt arrangement involving RM42mil in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds and did not solicit bribes from any person.
“The RM42mil transferred into his account was done without his knowledge or involvement and was not a form of gratification related to any act of Najib vis-à-vis SRC International, ” Shafee said here yesterday.Reading the defence opening statement, he said the manner in which cheques were issued from Najib’s accounts versus the actual balances of those accounts “leans in favour of a clear inference that Najib was not being accurately told of the real balances”.
“The same is fortified by the other contemporaneous evidence which revealed that there was a scheme in place to ensure that Najib was unaware of the actual transactions in his accounts, ” he added.
The defence contended that the evidence as a whole did not support the inference that the RM42mil was gratification that Najib was paid, either by himself or through any other party, as part of a corrupt arrangement.
“Najib did not lodge a police report or raise complaints about the transactions in his accounts given that the subject matter was already by that stage being investigated by the authorities and he chose instead to respect the process and integrity on the then ongoing investigations, ” Shafee added.
The defence said it would present evidence to establish that, among others, Najib did not misuse his office, did not have interest in SRC International, was never an agent or director of SRC International, and did not misappropriate the funds either directly or indirectly.
On Nov 11, Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali ordered for Najib to enter his defence after ruling that the prosecution had proven a prima facie case against him.
The defence trial began yesterday with Najib taking the stand as the defence’s first witness.
The Pekan MP is facing seven charges involving the misappropriation of SRC International funds.
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 belonging to SRC International. On Aug 8,2018, he appeared in court for the second time, and was charged with three counts of money laundering involving the same RM42mil.
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