KUALA LUMPUR: The defence in the corruption and abuse of power trial of Najib Razak has complained that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is blocking their client from getting information on his closed bank accounts with Ambank.
Najib’s lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali this was hampering them from preparing their defence since Najib was charged last year, reports Malaysiakini.
Shafee raised this matter today just before the proceedings started after a short lunch break.
The lawyer said the bank was cooperative but the anti-graft body was a stumbling block.
“This came to a stop recently when an AmBank officer told us (the lawyers) that the bank had been instructed by MACC not to provide any documents pertaining to Najib’s accounts without their permission,” Shafee told Nazlan.
He said the bank could provide the documents and Najib too was entitled to them.
“The account holder is always entitled to documents when the account is active or has been closed […] to know what had been transacted,” the news portal quoted him as saying.
He claimed the MACC’s order to the bank came from investigating officer Rosli Hussein.
Deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Saifuddin Hashim Musaimi informed Nazlan the prosecution would deliberate on the matter before responding.
He said the defence had just sent an e-mail to the prosecution before the lunch break.
Meanwhile, Najib, in his Facebook posting, lamented that the prosecution had rejected several times his lawyers’ application for discovery of documents in relation to this trial.
He said MACC yesterday suddenly sent a letter to the bank to prevent them from providing detailed transactions of his bank accounts.
The former prime minister claims, to his knowledge, such things never happened in other similar cases.
Ambank Raja Chulan branch manager R Uma Devi, who was a witness in the trial, said Najib had four current and one savings accounts.
Two were opened in Janury 2011 and closed in August 2013.
Another three, all current accounts, were opened in July 2013 and closed in March 2015.
The Pekan MP faces six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust in the transfer of RM42 million to his account from SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former unit of 1MDB.
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.