KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pic) has never authorised fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, known as Jho Low, to deal with AmBank regarding one of his bank accounts, the High Court heard.
The former prime minister said this regarding one of his AmBank bank accounts (2112022009-694), which he referred to as Account 694 in court.
Reading from his 243-page witness statement during his trial for allegedly misappropriating RM42mil from SRC International Sdn Bhd, Najib also claimed no knowledge of the appointment as Joanna Yu, Daniel Lee, and Krystal Yap as relationship managers for the account.
"I have never given authorisation to Low to deal with AmBank on any matters regarding Account 694," he said.
The authorisation was instead given to his former principal private secretary, the late Datuk Azlin Alias, he added.
He said that Azlin was entrusted with the matter, as he believed in Azlin's integrity.
"I was later informed by him (Azlin) that he had chosen (SRC International chief executive officer) Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil as the authorised person (for the account).
"I don't remember exactly when I was informed of this, but it could have been around 2011 after the account was opened," he said.
Najib said that he did not personally know Nik Faisal, but was told that the chief executive officer was a capable accountant and that he was the son of former Dewan Rakyat speaker, the late Tan Sri Nik Ahmad Kamil Nik Mahmood.
"Due to his (illustrated) background and his relationship with Azlin, I did not object to him (Nik Faisal) managing Account 694 under Azlin's monitoring," he added.
The court had previously heard a testimony from Yu who testified that Nik Faisal was the mandate holder of Najib’s bank accounts with whom she met and dealt with as she did not deal directly with the former premier.
The court then heard that Najib opened the bank account in anticipation of a "donation" from the late Sultan Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.
According to Najib, he decided to open the bank account after being told by Low that a donation was expected "shortly" at the end of 2010.
"After discussing about the matter with Low and Azlin, it was decided that I will open a (new) bank account to receive the funds.
"I decided to do this as I wanted to use the funds for my own corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and I didn't want the funds to be mixed with my other earnings," he said.
He added that the funds were meant to be channelled towards political, social, and welfare CSR initiatives.
Najib said that (then) Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz was also informed of the incoming "donation".
Najib is facing seven charges; three for criminal breach of trust, one for abuse of power and three for money laundering involving SRC International funds totalling RM42mil.
The hearing continues before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali on Wednesday afternoon (Dec 4).