KUALA LUMPUR: Former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) chairman Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh told the High Court here that he suspected Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pic) was involved in financial misconduct after the former prime minister did not reply to an SMS.
The 15th prosecution witness said he sent an SMS to Najib to inform him of the several matters which were instructed by the board of directors to the 1MDB management but were not followed.
"However, I did not receive any response from Najib. It did not cross my mind to report to any relevant authorities the financial misconduct of the management of 1MDB because I assumed that I had already done so through my SMS to Najib. I hoped Najib will take necessary actions against the management of 1MDB if he found any misconduct on their part.
"Since my concerns did not get Datuk Seri Najib’s attention as he did not reply to my SMS, I had a feeling that he was involved and something wrong was happening without my knowledge. This was one of the main reasons I decided to resign,” said Mohd Bakke when reading his witness statement during Najib's trial on the misappropriation of RM2.3bil from 1MDB funds.
Mohd Bakke, 68, said this was one of the main reasons he decided to resign from the post as well as a member of 1MBD’s board of directors in 2009.
During examination-in-chief by lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, the witness said he found it unusual when Najib did not respond to his SMS as the accused usually responds to his message and it was also not the first time he sent text messages to the former prime minister.
Mohd Bakke said he resigned in October 2009 as a sign of protest and did not want to be involved in any further discussions and decisions regarding 1MDB.
He added that he decided not to hand in his resignation to Najib personally but instructed his secretary to deliver the letter to the prime minister's office instead.
"I did this because if I were to send it myself, he would probably convince me to stay. I did not announce my resignation at that time to maintain Najib's reputation,” he said.
The witness said issues which led to his resignation included the transfer of US$1bil (RM4.38bil) without the board's approval, failure to conduct due diligence on the PetroSaudi International Ltd (PSI) joint venture, failure to appoint an independent valuer to get accurate and reliable information on the value of the joint venture company's assets and failure in the appointment of three representatives in the joint venture company.
Najib, 68, is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3bil from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.
The trial before judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues on Tuesday (May 10).- Bernama