Najib 'abandoned' his defence by admitting he told Jho Low to pad his bank account, court hears

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal was told that Datuk Seri Najib Razak “abandoned” his own defence that he was framed by fugitive financier Low Taek Jho in the misappropriation of RM42mil from SRC International Sdn Bhd funds when he admitted that he gave instructions to Low to ensure his bank account was padded.

Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram said this in the prosecution's rebuttal at the hearing of an appeal filed by the former premier against his conviction and sentence in the SRC International case.

He said throughout the prosecution trial, it was the undeniable defence of the appellant (Najib) that Low, or better known as Jho Low, had manipulated Najib's account and thereby caused RM42mil to flow into his personal bank accounts without his concurrence and knowledge.

"Hence, it was a defence that the appellant had been framed by Jho Low and purportedly by the (AmBank) bankers to make it appear that he had indeed committed the criminal breach of trust (CBT) offences.

"This defence was however abandoned by the appellant in the defence case thereby showing that his was a mala fide (bad faith) defence advanced in the prosecution case," he said here on Tuesday (April 20).

Sithambaram submitted that it was obvious from the defence case that this defence of Najib lacked ingenuity and credibility as the Pekan MP himself had readily admitted that it was he who instructed Low, together with Najib's late principal private secretary Datuk Azlin Alias and former SRC CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil to ensure that his bank accounts had ready monies to enable him to issue countless cheques running into millions.

The prosecutor also said it was absurd to say Najib believed the money he spent came from a donation from the Saudi royal family.

"Who would dare to put money in the prime minister's account just to trick him? How is this a trick when Low, Azlin and Nik Faisal were tasked (by Najib) to ensure sufficient funds were available to honour his cheques.

"It is Najib who is playing a trick to bury the obvious truth. His defence is nothing but a ‘cock and bull’ story," 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 criminal breach of trust 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 the panel chaired by Justice Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil.

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

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