Umno leaders looked beyond Najib as 1MDB scandal unfolded, court told

Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah at the Kuala Lumpur High Court as a prosecution witness in the Najib Razak trial. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: A former minister under the Najib Razak administration had made it clear that Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) must be saved if the 1MDB scandal got out of hand, the former prime minister’s corruption trial heard today.

Former second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said then tourism minister Nazri Aziz, who was also an Umno Supreme Council member, had told him that there was nothing the party could do to save Najib.

“Nazri told me that whatever happens to Najb is out of our control. But we must ensure Umno and Barisan Nasional remains,” he said when cross-examined by Najib’s defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Husni, who was testifying as the 56th prosecution witness, resigned from the Cabinet in June 2016.

Husni also told the court today that Najib had orchestrated sexual misconduct allegations against him by telling a female staff from the ministry to lodge a report.

He said after his hard-hitting speech in the Dewan Rakyat, Najib’s confidential secretary, Shukri Salleh, visited him at his house in Kuala Lumpur.

“He wanted me to meet Najib but I declined as I was tired,” he said, adding that Shukri warned him that fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin would attack him.

Husni said his son Khalid Ahmad was attacked together with the CEO and chairman of New Pantai Expressway.

“Raja Petra claimed that I was angry that my son did not get a project. The report was also published by Utusan Malaysia,” he added.

Husni said he texted a message to Najib on the blog post, and the ex-prime minister asked him to get in touch with Nazri.

He said the attacks from Raja Petra ceased after that.

But Husni said his son was sacked from the company.

To a question by Shafee, Husni said he could not remember whether he sent a subtle threatening message to a minister who was in charge of the project Khalid Ahmad was eyeing for.

Husni said he contested the Tambun parliamentary seat as he wanted to serve the people.

“Najib asked me to stand again. He provided me with funds to spend in the election campaign,” he added.

He said he received about RM200,000 from Najib’s confidential secretary.

Husni said he was still not upset with Najib for what had happened.

“But I am still praying to Allah to open his heart to see the truth. After all, he is a human being,” he said.

Re-examined by deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Izzat Fauzan, Husni said he had found a solution to the RM42 billion owed by 1MDB but his plan was derailed by Najib and the Cabinet.

Ad-hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram said the prosecution would close its case with investigating officer Rosli Husain taking the witness stand tomorrow.

“We are on schedule to close our case by next week,” he said.

Najib is facing 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.

He 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.

The hearing before Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues.