Najib knew the state of affairs of his accounts, prosecution says in SRC trial

Former prime minister Najib Razak.

KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution in Najib Razak’s SRC International trial today argued that the former prime minister had full knowledge of his financial state of affairs despite his claim to the contrary.

Ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram said Najib had testified that he was unaware the money moved into his accounts between December 2014 and February 2015 was from the government-linked company despite the evidence showing the money trail of the SRC International funds.

Najib had said he believed that the RM42 million was part of the Arab donation he received from 2011 to 2014.

“We find it fascinating that the defence now comes to court and argues that the bank accounts were kept by AmBank for Jho Low,” Sithambaram told the High Court, referring to businessman Low Taek Jho.

In his closing submission, he added that Najib had admitted during cross-examination that Jho Low, Najib’s late principal private secretary Azlin Alias and then-SRC International CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil were tasked with maintaining sufficient funds in his accounts.

He also criticised the defence’s claim that Jho Low had manipulated the former prime minister’s accounts.

“How can the defence contend that a reasonable person, in particular the finance minister, had been tricked and denied of his bank statements by Jho Low?” he said, adding that this was not supported by evidence.

He also said it was odd that Najib had not removed Nik Faisal from managing his bank accounts after then-SRC International chairman Ismee Ismail complained of financial misconduct.

“He wanted Nik Faisal to facilitate the transfer of SRC International money into his account,” Sithambaram said.

Nik Faisal was removed as CEO in 2014, but stayed on as company director and one of the company’s bank account signatories.

He left Malaysia before the 14th general election and an arrest warrant was issued against him.

The hearing continues before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

Najib is accused of abusing his power as prime minister in approving government guarantees for KWAP to loan RM4 billion to SRC International.

He was also slapped with criminal breach of trust and money laundering charges over the transfer of RM42 million allegedly from SRC International into his bank accounts.

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