Order to further probe SRC case was not a ‘drama’, ex-prosecutor tells court

Former public prosecutor Dzulkifli Ahmad says a purported phone conversation between him and Najib Razak on Jan 5, 2016 is still under police investigation.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former public prosecutor Dzulkifli Ahmad today denied that the Attorney-General’s Chambers’ (AGC) instructions to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to further investigate SRC International and the RM2.6 billion donation cases in 2016 were merely a “drama” to stop prosecutions against Najib Razak.

“To me, this is a false allegation. We need evidence to prove the ingredient of knowledge in MACC’s recommended charges for dishonest misappropriation of funds,” he told the High Court in Najib Razak’s SRC International trial.

Dzulkifli was responding to questions from ad-hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram on whether the AGC’s orders to the anti-graft body were a “drama” (sandiwara), as the prosecution had already made the decision not to proceed with charges against the former prime minister in 2016.

Then attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali made an announcement on Jan 26, 2016 that the SRC International and RM2.6 billion donation cases were classified as “no further action”.

When asked to clarify why he was denying the orders were a “drama” by Najib’s lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Dzulkifli said “the transfer of funds into one’s account is not an offence unless it is done with intention and knowledge”.

At this juncture, Sithambaram asked: “So, is it an offence if you spend it all?”

Dzulkilfi’s responded: “If he spends all (the money), then it is wrong.”

Dzulkifli also told the court he could not answer Sithambaram’s questions related to a purported phone conversation between him and Najib on Jan 5, 2016, stating the matter is under police investigation.

The purported conversation was one of the nine recordings that were revealed by former MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya at a press conference in January. She had said the recordings were linked to 1MDB and SRC International dealings.

Meanwhile, Dzulkifli said MACC, in their investigation papers, also proposed to the AGC to press charges against former SRC International CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, former company director Suboh Md Yassin and two more individuals for alleged criminal breach of trust over the company’s money.

The hearing concludes today before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali. The court will hear the submissions from the prosecution and defence on May 12.

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.