Najib abused position as PM to approve loans worth RM4bil for SRC Int'l, court told

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal was told that Datuk Seri Najib Razak had abused his position when he sat in Cabinet meetings to approve two government guarantees for loans amounting to RM4bil for SRC International Sdn Bhd, a company he had a personal interest in.

Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram said in his submissions at the hearing of an appeal filed by Najib that the offence under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act, which the former prime minister was convicted with, did not depend on the receipt of the gratification but the use of position in obtaining the gratification.

Sithambaram said Najib, who was the then prime minister and finance minister, had participated in Cabinet meetings on Aug 17,2011, and Feb 8,2012, to approve the government guarantees for the loans from the Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP).

The prosecution was making its rebuttal in the appeal filed by the Pekan MP against his conviction and sentence in the SRC International case here on Wednesday (April 14).

“The offence is complete the minute the appellant sits in the Cabinet with an interest.

“His presence and involvement during those meetings had precipitated the approval of both the government guarantees, ” Sithambaram said.

He added that the former prime minister’s presence at the meetings led to the decision by the Cabinet to ultimately grant the two government guarantees for the loans, which would not have been approved by KWAP otherwise.

“The loan was only approved because of the appellant’s direct and indirect influence.

“Ordinarily, a prime minister would be very busy. This one (referring to Najib) seems to take a particular interest in SRC.

“Why were the loans approved? It all goes back to his personal interest, ” the prosecutor said.

On July 28 last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court sentenced Najib to 10 years’ jail on each of the three counts of CBT as well as each of the three counts of money laundering.

Najib, 68, is currently out on bail of RM2mil in two sureties pending appeal.

The appeal hearing continues before a three-man bench on Wednesday afternoon.

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