Not my fault if the person managing my accounts does wrong, Najib says

Former prime minister Najib Razak.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Najib Razak told the SRC International trial today that he could not be held responsible for any wrongful action done by the person authorised to handle his three accounts at AmBank.

He said he had delegated the managing of his personal accounts to his then-principal private secretary, Azlin Alias, who in turn recommended that Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil be authorised to manage the three accounts.

“I cannot be held responsible if Nik Faisal did something wrong,” he told the High Court, testifying in his own defence over charges of money laundering and abuse of power involving RM42 million from Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP).

He was referring to former SRC International CEO Nik Faisal who went missing before the May 9, 2018 general election.

Ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram then asked Najib a series of questions about Nik Faisal and the former CEO’s instructions to AmBank on the transfer of funds into Najib’s accounts.

Showing Najib the instruction letters issued by Nik Faisal to AmBank, as well as Najib’s bank statements, Sithambaram asked whether he would have issued cheques from these accounts if the money had not been transferred into them, adding that it meant Najib knew of these transactions.

In response, Najib said he assumed the money had come from a “donation”.

Sithambaran also said there was a clause in Najib’s bank account opening form stating that the account holder would be responsible for his account even if he were to authorise someone else to manage it.

“If they did wrong, how can I be responsible? They did something wrong that I was not aware of,” Najib replied.

Sithambaran then suggested that the cheques Najib had issued were actually not from any “donation”, but Najib disagreed.

Saying “millions were missing from your accounts, Datuk Seri”, Sithambaram asked if Najib had been aware of the money he was spending.

“I spent the money because I was informed this was donation money,” Najib said.

The hearing continues before Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.