MACC man tells Najib trial he’s uncertain if Arab questioned in Riyadh actually a prince

Former prime minister Najib Razak is facing six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust.

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer told the High Court that a team of five officials flew to Riyadh to meet an individual known as “Prince Saud Abdulaziz Al-Saud” five years ago as part of their investigation into Najib Razak’s RM2.6 billion “donation” case.

Investigating officer Mohd Nasharudin Amir said that he, along with Mohd Hafaz Nazar and Fikri Ab Rahim, former deputy public prosecutor Dzulkifli Ahmad as well as MACC deputy chief commissioner Azam Baki were in Saudi Arabia between Nov 27 and Nov 29, 2015.

Dzulkifli was appointed MACC chief commissioner in August 2016.

Nasharudin said they were there to investigate four purported “donation letters” that were said to have been signed and sent by Saud to Najib, dated between Feb 1, 2011, and June 1, 2014.

“The witness statement was taken at the palace of King Abdul Aziz Saud in Riyadh. A man, known as Mohamad Abdullah Al Koman, spoke to us as Saud’s representative,” Nasharudin said, describing the palace as a large house, and that Abdullah spoke to them in English.

When questioned by defence lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Nasharudin said he was uncertain if the man whom they had met was actually a prince.

Asked if this “Saud” was the king or son of the king, the witness said he did not know.

He said his colleague Hafaz interviewed Saud and that it was Abdullah who signed the witness statement for Saud.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer Mohd Nasharudin Amir outside the High Court after testifying in Najib Razak‘s SRC International trial today.

Nasharudin also told the court that he saw a Chinese man in the house when he and his colleagues were in the midst of taking Saud’s statement.

Shafee: Do you know what was his name?

Nasharudin: Tan Kim Loong.

Tan was an associate of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, and also one of the individuals being sought by the authorities in the 1MDB case.

He confirmed that his colleague Hafaz also took Tan’s statement in the house.

Nasharudin said after taking Saud’s statement, the MACC officers joined Saud and the other Arabs for dinner.

Shafee then asked: “Can you confirm that there was a request from MACC officers to go to umrah in Mecca?”

Nasharuddin said he was not aware of such a request but that five of them subsequently flew on a private jet to Mecca.

Shafee remarked: “I am not saying this was wrong as this is how the Arabs entertain their guests.”

To questions from ad-hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram on whether the MACC officers managed to gather any documentary evidence on the RM2.6 billion case, Nasharudin said they had not.

Sithambaram: Can another person sign the witness statement on behalf of the witness?

Nasharudin: Cannot.

He then asked Nasharudin to produce documentation next Monday (March 2), to confirm if Najib was present in Saudi Arabia to meet the late King Abdullah with a Malaysian delegation on Jan 11, 2010.

“Witnesses have said that he (Najib) was in a meeting in Saudi Arabia but on the same day he was said to be officiating the 1MDB headquarters,” Sithambaram said.

Nasharudin said he would comply with the prosecution’s request.

The hearing continues 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 from SRC International to his personal account.

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 (KWAP).