KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court was told that it was Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor who had purchased RM3.3mil worth of jewellery and charged it to her husband Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s AmBank credit card.
Najib had earlier testified that the jewellery, bought from a De Grisogono boutique in Italy, was meant as a gift for the wife of Qatar’s former prime minister Sheikh Hamad Jassim Jaber Al Thani.
“I paid for it with my credit card but I asked my wife to choose, ” he said.
This prompted lead prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram to remark that women would know better when it came to choosing jewellery, to the laughter of the courtroom.
The former prime minister was asked about the details of the purchase during a cross-examination at the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial yesterday.
Najib had said that the purchase was for a single piece of jewellery, but the prosecutor suggested there were more items purchased from the same boutique on the same date.
Sithambaram: (Referring to a court document) The number of items purchased are 10 items. A single gift for €763,500, which was the equivalent to RM3.282mil.
Najib: It looks like a set. A set of 10 items. I have to check with my wife. She bought the items.
The prosecution then questioned Najib on a controversial Chanel watch worth RM466,000 that he bought for Rosmah from the United States on Dec 22,2014.
Sithambaram: You would agree it was quite a luxurious gift?
Sithambaram said the purchase clearly had nothing to do with corporate social responsibility (CSR), which Najib had said he did with the monies in his account.
“Compared to the amount I spent on CSR, this is quite small, ” replied Najib.
When Sithambaram pointed out that he had said the watch was “the one and only” personal purchase, Najib agreed.
Sithambaram: I put it to you, there have been many other personal purchases made from the same credit card.
Najib: I agree but they were much, much smaller items. It was more of a convenience actually. The rest of the purchases were not as significant or less significant.
Sithambaram: Compared to the Arab donation, you mean? These would be considered significant for most people.
Sithambaram: Was any of the Arab donation given to the flood victims?
Najib: I can’t recall but the flood victims were well taken care of.
The 67-year-old also admitted that he was in contact with fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho on “a few occasions” over the operations of his personal AmBank accounts.
He was asked about a chat between AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu and Low, better known as Jho Low, via BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) in 2014.
Sithambaram read out the chat, which was about the remaining balance in Najib’s accounts to ensure that the balance was sufficient for him to issue cheques.
Sithambaram: This is clear that Jho Low was making sure that you have enough money to issue cheques. Is this correct, sir?
Najib: It would appear so.
Sithambaram: It is clear that Jho Low was making sure all transactions were honoured. Correct, sir?
Sithambaram: From these transactions and conversations, Jho Low verified the accounts to the bank for the purpose of ensuring sufficient funds for you to use your credit cards and issue cheques. Correct, sir?
Sithambaram: I put it to you, these BBM chats would show that Jho Low was, on some occasions, in contact with you, to ensure the cards and cheques were honoured.
Najib: It was through (former principal private secretary) Datuk Azlin Alias.
Sithambaram: But on some occasions with Jho Low?
Najib: A few occasions. On a very few occasions.
Sithambaram: On a few occasions he liaised with you?
At the end of yesterday’s proceedings, Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali reminded Najib not to discuss the case or post any statements on social media in relation to the case.
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 on Jan 20.
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