SRC board made decisions based on Najib’s orders, says ex-chairman

Former SRC International chairman Ismee Ismail.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court in Najib Razak’s corruption and abuse of power trial heard today that all decisions made by SRC International Sdn Bhd’s board came from the company’s ultimate shareholder.

Former SRC International chairman Ismee Ismail said the shareholder had been represented by Najib.

Ismee also said SRC International’s constitution differed from those of the 16 other companies where he had been the chairman or a board member.

Clause 67 states that the prime minister appoints and removes SRC International board members, Clause 116 states that no amendment can be made to the constitution without the prime minister’s approval, and Clause 117 states that the advice of the prime minister who is also SRC International adviser emeritus must be taken into account.

“The SRC board must implement all minutes and resolutions signed by the prime minister,” he said when re-examined by ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram.

When asked if the prime minister could hire or fire board members, he said yes.

Sithambaram then asked if any amendments to the company’s memorandum and articles of association could be made without prior approval from the prime minister, to which Ismee said no.

“Can the board consider and independently implement financial decisions without the prime minister’s advice?” Sithambaram asked.

To this, too, Ismee said no, neither could the board ignore the prime minister’s directives.

He affirmed that Najib was the prime minister, finance minister, corporate representative of the Finance Ministry Incorporated and SRC adviser emeritus.

When asked by deputy public prosecutor Ishak Mohd Yusoff about the consequences if the ultimate shareholder’s order is not complied with, Ismee said it would be either removal or resignation.

Ismee, the 39th prosecution witness, has been on the stand for the past seven days. This is the longest any prosecution witness has been questioned to date.

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 International funds amounting to RM42 million.

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.

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.

SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1MDB, was fully owned by the Finance Ministry Incorporated during Najib’s time as finance minister.

Earlier, when cross-examined by Najib’s lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Ismee said Najib was not one of the authorised signatories to accounts operated by SRC International.

He said cheques were signed by SRC International directors who decided how the company funds were utilised.

“He (Najib) has dominion over the bank accounts as he is not a signatory,” Ismee added.

The hearing continues before judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.