Najib innocent, Jho Low to blame, defence tells SRC trial

Najib Razak gestures to reporters as he leaves the High Court on Monday.

KUALA LUMPUR: The defence in Najib Razak’s corruption trial today accused fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho of masterminding the financial scandal involving SRC International, saying the former prime minister had no knowledge of such “clandestine activities”

Najib’s lawyer Harvinderjit Singh also told the High Court that his client was innocent as Low had deliberately kept him in the dark about the operations of his bank accounts with Ambank, which received millions of ringgit from SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB.

Harvinderjit was questioning Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission officer Rosli Hussain, the final witness in the trial.

Rosli dismissed all the suggestions put forward by the lawyer.

Harvinderjit: I put it to you, it is Jho Low who misappropriated SRC money.

Rosli: Disagree.

Harvinderjit: A Blackberry messenger chat log revealed that Jho Low took steps to keep Najib in the dark about the operations of his three current bank accounts with Ambank.

Rosli: Disagree.

Harvinderjit: It is Jho Low who directed SRC director and CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil to sign Najib’s banking documents with Ambank.

Rosli: Disagree.

Harvinderjit: It is Jho Low who cheated the (Ambank) on Najib’s source of funds that was deposited there.

Rosli: Disagree.

Rosli Hussain.

Harvinder then said Rosli was in complete denial because he did not conduct a thorough investigation.

“From my probe, what Jho Low did was not for his personal interest,” Rosli replied.

Jho Low and Nik Faisal, who are not in Malaysia, are potential prosecution witnesses.

Rosli last week told the court that he failed to locate Jho Low and Nik Faisal for investigation purposes.

He said Jho Low and Nik Faisal left Malaysia on May 29, 2015 and May 7 last year, respectively.

However, Rosli said his officers took Jho Low’s statement in Abu Dhabi on Nov 27, 2015, and also recorded Nik Faisal’s statement in Jakarta on Oct 17 the same year, but did not place a bond on them.

“We thought they would come back to assist in further investigations,” he said.

He said MACC then informed Bukit Aman to distribute the red notices to several countries including Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar and China.

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.

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 hearing continues before judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.