Low never authorised to deal with AmBank, says Najib

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 05 Dec 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court heard that fugitive financier Low Taek Jho was never authorised to deal with AmBank regarding Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bank account ending 694, the account that received tranches of money from foreign senders.

“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 Seri Azlin Alias.

Najib said Azlin was entrusted with the matter as he believed in Azlin’s integrity.

“I was later informed by 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 he did not know Nik Faisal personally but was told that the CEO was a capable accountant and the son of former Dewan Rakyat speaker, the late Tan Sri Nik Ahmad Kamil Nik Mahmood, hence he did not object to the authorisation.

The court had previously heard testimony that AmBank’s Joanna Yu, Daniel Lee and Krystal Yap were appointed as relationship managers for the said account, but Najib said he did not know of this.

Yu previously testified that she dealt with Low and Nik Faisal about Najib’s accounts as she did not deal directly with the former premier.

Najib, who was reading his 243-page statement, also slammed former finance minister II Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah’s testimony that his role was reduced to being an “office boy” at the Finance Ministry (MOF) when 1Malaysia Development Berhad and its subsidiaries, including SRC International Sdn Bhd, were being set up.

Najib said Husni was consulted on matters regarding SRC International.

“Documents submitted for this trial regarding SRC International clearly show that Husni had been consulted, and had also approved several important memos as finance minister II, including an MOF memo dated Feb 2, 2012, and a Treasury memo dated Nov 4, 2015, regarding an allocation for a short-term loan given to SRC International in 2015.

“His accusation that he was treated like an ‘office boy’ is a comedy seeing that the (documents) he signed as finance minister II showed the opposite,” said Najib.

The fact that Husni continued to stay at MOF was also a “contradiction”.

“If he felt that he was treated as an office boy, then it is strange that he remained at MOF (then),” he added.

Najib said Husni might have felt “disgruntled” after being asked to transfer from MOF to the Economic Planning Unit.

“I believe it was because of my decision to transfer him, seeing that he resigned shortly after in 2016 and has used the witness stand as a stage to publicly air his dissatisfaction,” he added.
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