Najib: Low baited me for scam


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 05 Feb 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: On his last day of testifying on the stand, Datuk Seri Najib Razak claimed fugitive financier Low Taek Jho had baited him for a scam involving SRC International Sdn Bhd.

The former prime minister was convinced of Low, or better known as Jho Low, as it appeared that the 38-year-old had a special relationship with the Middle East, especially with the Saudis.

Najib, who was under a re-examination by lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, said that Low appeared to be closer to the Saudis during dealings that resulted with donations in Najib’s bank accounts.

“At that time, it was clear that he (Jho Low) was closer to the Saudis rather than Malaysia’s side. He was representing Saudi Arabia at the time,” he said here yesterday.

The Pekan MP then repeated his oath again with the Arabic words ‘wallahi, wabillahi, watallahi’ and swore that he did not know that the RM42mil in his account – which became the crux of the prosecution’s case against him – had originated from SRC International.

“Wallahi, wabillahi, watallahi” is a phrase often used by Muslims to swear in order to prove themselves and this is the second time Najib swore this in the course of his trial.

He said Low had transferred the money as a ‘cover-up’ so that he would not find out the truth.

“Jho Low made an immense amount of money elsewhere. He must have thought that if he didn’t continue to make sure the donations flowed into my account, it would have affected his relationship with me and this would lead me to uncover the scams.

“He needed to continue to ensure I had confidence and faith in him, so the RM42mil is minuscule compared to what he was making,” he added.

The court was also told that Najib accepted donations from the Saudi royal family between 2011 and 2014 because he did not want to rely on corporate donations to fund Umno’s election machinery.

“I did not want the sense of owing gratitude to anyone,” he said.

After 13 days, Najib had completed his testimony – which included a 243-page witness statement – and was released from the witness stand.The court also heard testimony from AmBank’s former relationship manager Krystle Yap, 34, who said she had arranged to expedite banking transactions for an associate of Low’s, who banked in sizeable cash deposits into Najib’s accounts.

Yap, who is currently unemployed, said she was instructed by her team leader Joanna Yu to meet Kee Kok Thiam, a known associate of Low, in order to facilitate cash deposits Kee intended to make into Najib’s various accounts in 2014 and 2015.

“From what I was told, this was because those accounts had become overdrawn,” she said.

Yap said she arranged for a branch personnel to attend to Kee straight away.

“Essentially I just arranged for him to ‘cut the queue’ so to speak,” she added.

The witness, however, could not remember the amount that was banked in.

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 before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues today.

Article type: free
User access status:
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Across The Star Online