SRC International a 'one man show', says prosecution in Najib appeal

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): The running of SRC International was a "one-man show" run by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, says ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram

"It was a one-man show. He kept everyone away and was in control of the SRC funds through the company's chief executive officer Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil. Najib micro-managed the company to the extent of deciding the appointment of SRC lawyers, auditors and which banks operated its accounts, functions usually carried out by the directors," he said.

In his submissions before a three-member Court of Appeal bench on Monday (April 19), Sithambaram said that SRC International's Board of Directors (BOD) were "puppets dancing to Najib's tune".

The panel led by Judge Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil is hearing Najib’s appeal against his conviction and jail sentence for the misappropriation of RM42 million in SRC International funds. The other two judges on the bench are Datuk Has Zanah Mehat and Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.

In his submissions, Sithambaram also said that Najib's unique position in SRC since its incorporation and subsequent conversion to a MOF Inc company clearly proves that he was not merely acting in an official capacity as part of the government mechanism

"Najib's control and dominion over SRC is evident from the fact that he had acted in his own name and not in the name of a principal, when he himself signed all the shareholder instructions that were subsequently executed by the SRC BOD," added Sithambaram.

He also said that during the material time, Najib was the prime minister, finance minister and advisor emeritus of SRC which was later placed under the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoF).

Sithambaram added that Najib although not a director formally appointed, was in fact the shadow director of SRC by virtue of the fact that the SRC BOD was accustomed to act on his instructions.

"It is pertinent to note that in any company, the shareholders appoint the Board of Directors to manage the affairs and day-to-day running of the company which it shall act in the best interests of the company.

However, in the case of SRC, the situation was reversed as the shareholder was instructing the SRC BOD through the shareholder minutes on operational, business aspects which are within the purview of the SRC BOD," said Sithambaram.

He said that former SRC chairman Tan Sri Ismee Ismail and former SRC director Datuk Suboh Md Yassin confirmed that the BOD had to follow Najib's instructions and execute them.

"Thus, the real shareholder of SRC was indeed the appellant (Najib)," said Sithambaram.

"It is clearly evident from the shareholder minutes that, instead of allowing the SRC BOD to conduct the affairs of SRC, the appellant took charge of the company and gave specific instructions to divert the funds of SRC overseas, via Dubai, Hong Kong and Switzerland. The purpose of the utilisation of these funds overseas had nothing to do with the purpose for which SRC obtained the funds from the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP), namely for natural resources development," he added

Sithambaram insisted that Najib was acting solely for his personal benefit as SRC did not utilise the RM4 billion loan from KWAP for the purpose for which it was granted and had nothing to show for it as confirmed by the 45th prosecution witness, former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah.

"The evidence of Prosecution Witness 45 did not show a single project that was undertaken or completed by SRC by utilising the RM4 billion loan given to it. The monies just disappeared," he said.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court had on July 28 last year sentenced Najib to 12 years’ jail and a RM210 million fine after finding him guilty on seven charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of position, involving RM42 million in SRC International funds.

The hearing of the appeal continues. - Bernama

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