Najib must be given benefit of the doubt, counsel tells court

The defence in Najib Razak’s SRC International corruption trial wound up its case today.

KUALA LUMPUR: The defence in Najib Razak’s SRC International trial told the High Court today that Ambank officers acted on instruction letters by the company’s then chief financial officer and Low Taek Jho’s right hand man to transfer a total of RM293 million out of its bank account.

Lawyer Harvinderjit Singh said Ambank received emails from See Yoke Peng and Geh Choh Heng to move SRC International’s money to Gandingan Mentari, and subsequently to Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd.

Part of the money – RM42 million – ended up in Najib’s accounts.

“However, the prosecution never called See to testify. As such, Najib should be given the benefit of the doubt on his CBT charges,” Harvinderjit said in his submission during the close of the defence’s case.

Although See was not called, she was offered as a witness to the defence, who did not call her as well.

Ambank’s former relationship manager Krystle Yap had testified as a defence witness that transactions were done based on See’s instruction.

Geh, a confidante of fugitive businessman Low, also known as Jho Low, could not be brought to court as Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Rosli Husain said he had left Malaysia before the 14th general election.

An arrest warrant had also been issued by the court against Geh.

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, a former unit of 1MDB.

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 Inc.

Harvinderjit told the court that former Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) chief executive officer Ung Su Ling was not a credible witness as her testimony was hearsay.

The defence contended that Ung once worked for Low at his investment company, Wynton Private Equity Group Sdn Bhd.

“She claimed that she received instructions from Azlin Alias (Najib’s late principal private secretary) on Whatsapp to transfer funds into Najib’s account.

“However, she said she threw away the phone that had Azlin’s message,” Harvinderjit said.

The hearing before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues tomorrow, when ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram will rebut the defence’s case.

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