KUALA LUMPUR: A witness in Najib Razak’s corruption and abuse of power trial told the High Court today that the former prime minister had expressed shock upon learning that someone had transferred money into his private accounts.
Ihsan Perdana managing director Shamsul Anwar Sulaiman said he had met Najib at his private residence on the third day of Hari Raya in 2015, soon after he was released from custody after a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation.
“He was shocked that someone had been putting money into his accounts, and did not know who it was. He was upset,” the 37th witness said when cross-examined by Najib’s lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.
Shamsul said based on Najib’s behaviour, he had concluded that the former prime minister was genuine in his reaction.
“However, we did not discuss anything further about the matter,” he said.
Shamsul added that he had apologised to Najib as Ihsan Perdana was the last company that had transferred money into his accounts at the Ambank Raja Chulan branch.
He also said he did not believe Najib had done inappropriate things while in office.
“He was serious about corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes and always encouraged me in such work,” he said.
Najib faces six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust (CBT) in the transfer of RM42 million to his accounts 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.
On May 15, Shamsul told the court that Ihsan Perdana’s bank account was used as a transit account for money to be kept before being moved out.
This includes the RM42 million which was later remitted into two account numbers, ending 1880 and 1906, at AmPrivate Banking-1MY, which were under Najib’s name.
Shamsul said Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia project director Dennis See had asked his company to remit the money to Najib’s accounts, but that See declined to reveal the identity of the beneficiary.
Today, he reiterated that his company would not have sent the money if he had known it was to Najib’s accounts.
Earlier, prosecution witnesses testified that RM50 million came from Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd Bhd, a subsidiary of SRC, and was deposited into Ihsan Perdana’s account.
Shamsul said he did not know who deposited the RM50 million into Ihsan Perdana’s bank account.
He said he had been threatened by MACC officers in 2015 with CBT charges over the RM42 million transferred to Najib’s accounts.
He said he told MACC that the money was meant for CSR projects, but the officers refused to believe this.
He said MACC also kept reminding him that he faced the prospect of being charged.
“I was worried, but I denied because I never knew the receiver. I told them, you want me to tell the truth or the lies?” Shamsul told counsel Shafee during cross-examination.
Shamsul said he told investigators that he had made a pledge to tell the truth and that he believed the money was for CSR.
“I was under oath, I had to tell the truth. They asked me to tell something else, but I didn’t want to,” he said, adding that MACC had “wanted to implicate a few people, including Najib”.