PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal was told that large sums of money had entered into the bank accounts of Datuk Seri Najib Razak, but the former prime minister did not make enquiries to ask where the money came from.
Instead, the Pekan MP had “immediately utilised” the monies by issuing cheques for personal and political uses, moved millions between two companies, and had shopping sprees at Swiss luxury jeweller boutique De Grisogono in Italy and designer boutique Chanel in Honolulu in the United States.
(During the trial, the High Court was told that Najib had spent about RM3.3mil at De Grisogono to buy a gift meant for the wife of Qatar's former prime minister and bought a RM466,000 (US$130,625) Chanel watch for his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.)
Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram said the lavish expenditure by the appellant (Najib) proved his knowledge of the RM42mil - which was the subject matter of the charges against him - from SRC International Sdn Bhd entering his personal bank accounts.
He was submitting at the hearing of an appeal filed by Najib against his conviction and sentence in the SRC case here on Wednesday (April 21).
With such huge amounts of money flowing in, Sithambaram said Najib ought to have at least made enquiries as to its source and legality of these funds but he turned a blind eye to the millions in his accounts solely on the grounds that he had appointed former SRC CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil to manage his bank accounts.
The failure to enquire, said Sithambaram, was indeed an act of wilful blindness.
“For five years, he (Najib) did not personally know the balance in his account... that is completely and totally unbelievable, ” Sithambaram added.
The prosecutor said even as the source of funds was investigated by the authorities, Najib continued to remain passive and did not attempt to make enquiries with AmBank or to lodge any police reports on the funds deposited.
“When he was told that the funds were from SRC, he, again, did not do anything, ” 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 tomorrow (April 22) 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.