Najib gave funds to late husband’s family, witness tells court

Former prime minister Najib Razak outside the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR: A widow of Najib Razak’s former secretary told the High Court today she received RM13,800 from him in 2015.

Manisah Othman said her husband, Amirudin Mohd Baria, worked for Najib as his private secretary when the former prime minister was education minister from 1995 to 2000.

Amirudin later returned to work with Najib when the latter became the deputy prime minister. He passed away in June 2013 from colon cancer.

Manisah told the court that Najib provided financial aid for the education of her two children after Amirudin died.

“I received RM13,800 in the form of a cheque from one of Najib’s officer, Khairul,” she told deputy public prosecutor Mohd Saifuddin Hashim Musaimi in the corruption trial of Najib involving SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB.

“He (Najib) visited my husband when he was admitted to hospital, one month before he passed away.

“He promised me that he will help in terms of my children’s education,” she said.

Manisah, a statistician with the Statistics Department, said she used the money to pay for her children’s tuition fees.

Asked by Najib’s lawyer, Shafee Abdullah, whether Najib also provided financial aid to Amirudin’s family before 2015, she said Najib gave the family RM9,360 in 2013 and RM29,520 in 2014.

She said she was thankful to Najib for keeping his promises to the family.

Another witness, Abdul Munir Othman, told the court he received RM400,000 from Najib for the upkeep of Yayasan Rumah Penyayang in Pekan. Najib is the patron of the foundation.

Munir said the home provided hostels for orphans and the funds were meant to pay for its expenses.

He said the the cheque was given to the trustee of the foundation.

Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) investigating officer, Ahmad Farhan Sharifuddin, was recalled by the court today to provide details on items he seized at the AmBank headquarters on July 6, 2015.

Farhan said he seized four thumbdrives, a hard disk and two phones from three AmBank officers.

The hearing before High Court judge Nazlan Ghazali continues tomorrow afternoon.

Fiat prosecutor V Sithambaran told the court the defence lawyers had to attend a Court of Appeal hearing tomorrow on challenging the appointment of another fiat prosecutor, Gopal Sri Ram.

Najib is facing six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust in the transfer of RM42 million to his account from SRC International.

He is also accused of abusing his power as prime minister by giving government guarantees on SRC International’s RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Inc.