Ex-SRC chief may have lied about loan from KWAP, Najib trial told

Former SRC International chairman Ismee Ismail.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former SRC International Sdn Bhd CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil could have lied to the company’s board of directors about its application for a loan, the High Court heard today in the corruption and abuse of power trial of Najib Razak.

Ex-SRC International chairman Ismee Ismail said Nik Faisal did not reveal to the board at its first meeting on Aug 23, 2001 that he had written to Najib to apply for a RM3.95 billion loan from the pensioner’s fund, KWAP.

Ismee said he had not seen the June 3, 2011 letter outlining the reason for seeking the loan, either.

“What he told the board on Aug 23, 2011 was inconsistent with the letter,” he said when cross-examined by Najib’s lawyer Harvinderjit Singh.

In the letter, Nik Faisal had said the loan was necessary for overseas investments in the minerals sector and as working investment.

Nik Faisal, on Aug 12, 2011, made a fresh application for a RM2 billion loan from KWAP.

However, Ismee said Nik Faisal did inform the board that KWAP would give the loan with a government guarantee.

Ismee said Nik Faisal also did not inform the board of a purported 50:50 joint-venture deal between Aabar Investment and SRC International.

Harvinderjit: The board was told by Nik Faisal that a joint venture involving Aabar Investment had been formed arising out of a meeting between Najib and an Abu Dhabi sovereign fund head. It appears (that) Nik Faisal was lying to the board?

Ismee: Yes.

Ismee said his name had been mentioned as SRC chairman in the June 3 letter when his appointment only took effect on Aug 1, 2011.

He said Nik Faisal had also signed the letter in his capacity as SRC director when he, too, was appointed to that position from Aug 1, 2011.

Najib also appointed Suboh Yassin, Che [email protected] Che Omar and Shahrol Azaral Ibrahim Halmi as directors of the board.

Nik Faisal, who was made CEO and managing director from Aug 1, 2011, is not a prosecution witness as he has gone missing.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has appealed for public help to locate him and fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho.

Najib faces six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust in the transfer of RM42 million to his account from SRC International, 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 or KWAP.

The hearing continues before judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.