Court’s call on ex-SRC chief’s flip-flop on signature, says witness

MACC investigating officer Rosli Hussain (right) with his lawyers at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR: A prosecution witness today said he leaves it to the High Court in Najib Razak’s SRC International trial to determine the credibility of another key prosecution witness whose signature in banking transaction documents is under dispute.

Investigating officer Rosli Hussain, from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), said he could have relied on the first statement recorded from former SRC director Suboh Md Yassin in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in late 2015.

“There are inconsistencies in his statements, but I leave it to the trial court to determine the credibility of his testimony,” he said when cross-examined by lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah today.

Suboh had told a recording officer that all signatures instructing AmBank to conduct real-time electronic transfers and securities automatic transactions were his.

During two interviews with MACC recording officer Raub Ghani at a hotel in Putrajaya in May last year, though, Suboh changed his statement, saying the signatures had been falsified.

In two subsequent meetings with MACC officers at the anti-graft agency’s headquarters in August, he changed his statement again, saying the signatures were his.

Suboh had admitted under cross-examination that his signature might have been forged to authorise 17 transactions involving millions of ringgit in connection to SRC International, Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd.

During examination, though, Suboh told the court that the signatures on the documents were his.

The defence claims that Suboh changed his stand after the general election last year to implicate Najib in wrongdoings.

Suboh and former SRC International CEO and director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil were signatories to the cheques as well as to all instructions given to AmBank.

Rosli, the 57th and final prosecution witness, said MACC was an independent body which had conducted its investigations in an independent manner.

Shafee then implied that Suboh would have succumbed to pressure when his statement was recorded in the MACC office.

“He was not well, and a family member brought some medication. To me, what is important is that Suboh was in a stable state of mind,” Rosli replied.

He added that he had not compared Suboh’s signature in the scanned copy with that in the hard copy sent to the bank within three days of instruction as no one had complained of tampering.

He also told the court that he had not sent Suboh’s signature to the chemistry department for authentication.

“I did not send the signature for verification as the trial had started and we had no time,” he said.

To Shafee’s suggestion that others in the SRC International office, including fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, could have tampered with Suboh’s signature, he said: “Yes, the possibility is there.”

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.

The Pekan MP was charged with committing the offences at AmIslamic Bank Bhd on Jalan Raja Chulan and the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya between Aug 17, 2011 and Feb 10, 2015.

The hearing continues before judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.