Ex-MACC boss wanted AG to press charges against Najib over RM42 million, court told

Abu Kassim Mohamed served as the MACC chief at the height of the 1MDB scandal.

KUALA LUMPUR: An investigating officer from Bukit Aman told the High Court that former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed had proposed to the then-attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail in 2015 to press charges against Najib Razak over some RM42 million SRC International funds deposited into the latter’s private bank accounts.

R Rajagopal, from Bukit Aman’s Commercial Crime Investigation Department, said Abu Kassim made the suggestion during a meeting attended by members of the 1MDB special task force at Gani’s house on July 4, 2015.

R Rajagopal

Rajagopal said he was at the meeting to represent his boss, then-police chief Khalid Abu Bakar.

Others who attended the meeting included Zeti Akhtar Aziz, who was then Bank Negara Malaysia governor, and the central bank’s Financial Intelligence and Enforcement Department director Abdul Rahman Abu Bakar.

“He (Abu Kassim) mentioned this to the AG,” he said, answering questions from Najib’s lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah on whether anyone suggested legal action  be taken over the RM42 million SRC International funds.

Rajagopal said Gani did not make any decision on whether to prosecute Najib.

Abu Kassim, who now heads the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption (GIACC), served as MACC chief commissioner from January 2010 to August 2016.

Gani was the AG from 2002 until he was replaced by Mohamed Apandi Ali in July 2015.

Rajagopal told the court that in the early stages, both police and MACC were investigating the RM2.6 billion “donation” case.

The police launched investigations into 1MDB following a report lodged by Khairuddin Abu Hassan on Dec 12, 2014.

Asked by ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram why Abu Kassim made the suggestion, Rajagopal said there was money trail evidence that showed SRC International’s RM42 million was deposited into Najib’s bank account.

“I recalled what was said in the meeting based on the audio recordings that MACC released this year,” he said, referring to the nine audio clips of phone conversations involving former government leaders released by the anti-graft body.

Najib is accused of abusing his power as prime minister by giving government guarantees on SRC International’s RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Inc.

He is also charged with three counts of money laundering and three counts of criminal breach of trust in the transfer of RM42 million to his accounts from the former 1MDB unit.

The hearing continues before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali on March 10.