Najib not knowing his own bank balance is 'unbelievable', court told


PUTRAJAYA: It is unfeasible that Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not know how much funds he had in his personal bank accounts due to the millions of ringgit worth of cheques he issued, the Court of Appeal heard.

Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram said it was unbelievable that Najib operated a large multi-million ringgit account without knowing the balance.

"The value of the cheques issued makes it inevitable that the appellant (Najib) had knowledge of the account balance.

"If I had millions in my account, I would check it daily," the prosecutor said in jest.

Sithambaram said any suggestion of ignorance of the bank balance was evidence that the appellant blatantly attempted to hide his knowledge of the bank balances.

He was submitting the prosecution's rebuttal at the hearing of an appeal by Najib against his conviction and sentence in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case here on Tuesday (April 20).

He said the learned trial judge, who convicted the former premier, had correctly inferred that the three individuals tasked to manage Najib's accounts would have updated him with the balance in the accounts.

The three are Najib's late principal private secretary Datuk Azlin Alias as well as former SRC CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and financier Low Taek Jho.

The prosecution said the trial judge had conclusively found that Najib had knowledge of the credits and debits in his accounts based on his (Najib's) admission that Azlin and Nik Faisal told Low to put funds into his accounts to honour his cheques.

"Therefore, if those closely associated with the appellant knew of his account balance, the same knowledge would be inescapably imputed to the appellant as he then issued numerous cheques from the accounts," Sithambaram added.

During his defence trial, Najib said that he rarely checked his bank balance and depended on his mandate holders whom he entrusted to manage his bank accounts.

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 Wednesday (April 21) before a three-man 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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