‘It is not for national interest’

PUTRAJAYA: The prosecution in the appeal filed by Datuk Seri Najib Razak has slammed his defence that a RM4bil loan was approved to SRC International Sdn Bhd in the name of national interest.

Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram said it had been the mantra of the defence that the appellant, Najib, had supported the RM4bil loan and the government guarantee (GG) was for “national interest”.

He was submitting the prosecution’s rebuttal at the hearing of the appeal filed by Najib against his conviction and sentence before a three-man panel of the appellate court here yesterday.

Sithambaram said Najib’s fingerprints could be seen from SRC’s formation, its loan application to the Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP), his intervention in the loan application, and his influence in the approval of the GG for a successful loan application up to the rushed disbursement of the monies but after the funds were received by SRC, it appeared that the Pekan MP was no longer interested in what happened to the funds.

“The appellant suddenly became indifferent and did not inquire what SRC did with the funds. Why is that so?

“There is only one answer to this, that the appellant having acquired his premeditated plan to obtain the RM4bil loan for SRC took no interest, except that RM42mil from the funds went into his account and some RM3bil went to a Swiss bank account, ” Sithambaram said.

The prosecutor questioned Najib’s real interest or desire to know about the progress of the funds that were supposedly invested in renewable energy.

“Something is very wrong. The purpose cannot be for what they say is national interest. In the meantime, RM4bil of pensioners’ funds is burning, ” he said.

Sithambaram said Najib’s own evidence in court did not inspire confidence that the RM4bil loan to SRC was really to secure the energy needs of the country.

“What was the rush? Rush to set up the company, rush to have the money – I am saying the defence that this is a national interest cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be supported by the facts.

“Where are the facts? None. In fact, it looks more like a scam, ” he said.

The prosecutor, who gave a fiery submission, also told the court that all of SRC’s business plans were merely on paper but there was “nothing to show for it”.

Sithambaram said a company must show that the money it took was used for proper purposes.

“You cannot invest and take RM42mil. I’m saying the whole thing is a sham because nothing happens, ” he added.

Justice Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, who chaired the panel, then asked Sithambaram if the setting up of SRC was a sham.

“No, the setting up of the company is not a sham but the investments are, ” Sithambaram replied.

Justice Abdul Karim: So it is a sham to cover the real intention?

Sithambaram: Yes. If the company really did the investments and had millions in profits or 100% profits, you still cannot take RM42mil for your own use.

Sithambaram added that had SRC International – which was described as a “RM2 company” – been successful in its proposed plans in renewable energy, he would have been proud of that achievement.

“At least there won’t be power failure next time, ” he said to the laughter of the courtroom.

At one point during his submission, one of Najib’s lawyers tried to stand up to object and Sithambaram scathingly told the lawyer to sit down.

“I stand here making a submission for the prosecution. I’ve got nothing personal. But he shouldn’t shut me up. Your Lordship can shut me up, ” Sithambaram 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 a RM2mil bail in two sureties pending appeal.

The appeal hearing continues on Monday.

Other judges on the panel were Justices Has Zanah Mehat and Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.

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