I signed draft because I thought everything was in order, Najib tells court

Former prime minister Najib Razak denies he wanted to put SRC International under his direct supervision as he had a personal interest.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Najib Razak told the High Court today that he signed a draft copy of a memorandum to transfer ownership of SRC International from 1MDB to Minister of Finance Incorporated as he thought the relevant documents had been placed in order by the ministry’s official.

He said this when questioned by ad-hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram about an incident on Feb 3, 2012, where then Treasury deputy secretary-general Mat Noor Nawi met him at the waiting room of the RMAF Subang.

Mat Noor had previously testified that he and SRC International representative Zahid Taib had met Najib at the air base after the latter had told him that Najib wanted to see the draft copy for the transfer of SRC International’s ownership.

Mat Noor said he was surprised when Najib signed the draft copy (instead of waiting for a final copy), after reading it.

Najib said today: “I was not particularly in a hurry to sign it. I thought they were in order.”

The court had heard that SRC International was a 1MDB subsidiary until it was transferred to Minister of Finance Incorporated (MoF Inc) on Feb 14, 2012.

However, Najib denied he wanted to put SRC International under his direct supervision as he had a personal interest, despite being questioned repeatedly by Sithambaram.

Najib said he wanted SRC International to be successful and to be part of his legacy in public office.

Sithambaram: For the past seven years, there was no track record from SRC and you did not do anything?

Najib: I changed the CEO (Nik Faisal).

The hearing continues tomorrow (Jan 22) before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

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 Incorporated or KWAP.