Witness in SRC trial IDs ex-director gone missing through photo

Former KWAP vice-president Amirul Imran Ahmat.

KUALA LUMPUR: A witness testifying in the abuse of power and graft trial of Najib Razak was forced to identify former SRC International director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil through a press photograph today as he has gone missing.

Former KWAP vice-president Amirul Imran Ahmat positively identified Nik Faisal after deputy public prosecutor Ishak Mohd Yusoff produced a newspaper cutting in court which was later marked as an exhibit.

Najib’s lawyer did not raise any objections.

On June 7 last year, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said it was looking for the 48-year-old Nik Faisal and fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, in its probe into SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1MDB.

It is widely believed that Nik Faisal is in Indonesia.

In court today, Amirul also identified Najib who was seated in the dock.

The identification of another three prosecution witnesses – former Treasury secretary-general Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, KWAP vice-president (legal and secretarial department) Azlida Mazni Arshad, and ex-KWAP CEO Azian Mohd Noh – was dispensed with as they will give evidence at a later point.

Amirul, who prepared the proposal papers, was asked to identify these witnesses as they were involved in KWAP’s approval of a RM4 billion loan to SRC in 2011 and 2012.

Najib, 66, is facing three counts of criminal breach of trust, one charge of abusing his position and three counts of money laundering over SRC funds amounting to RM42 million.

The Pekan MP was charged with committing the offences at AmIslamic Bank Bhd in Jalan Raja Chulan and the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya between Aug 17, 2011, and Feb 10, 2015.

When cross-examined by Najib’s lawyer, Harvinderjit Singh, Amirul said SRC initially applied for RM3.95 billion but that he was asked by his immediate superior at the time, Ahmad Norhisham Hassan, to prepare a proposal paper for RM1 billion only.

He said the loan to SRC was for working capital and general investment.

“However, the plan was deferred pending SRC’s provision of further information,” he added.

Later, he said Norhisham had instructed him to prepare another paper for RM2 billion which the KWAP investment panel approved provided that the government stand guarantor for 1MDB or that the money be loaned directly to Putrajaya.

“The approval did not go through due to administrative issues over the Malaysian government securities,” he said.

He said the RM2 billion was finally given directly to SRC as it was wholly owned by 1MDB and the government had stood as guarantor.

The hearing continues before trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.