KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution in Najib Razak’s SRC International trial told the High Court today that it did not call the company’s former chief financial officer to testify over the transfer of the company’s funds as there was no dispute about her handling the financial affairs.
Ad-hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram said See Yoke Peng, then SRC International chief financial officer, had confirmed with the banks about clearing the company’s cheques and there was no dispute about the funds transfer.
“The defence disputed that we did not call See Yoke Peng during the prosecution stage. But looking at the whole issue, there was no protest about the transfers (of money).
“Only SRC can dispute why money was taken from its accounts. Until today, there has been no complaint or action against Ambank over the funds being transferred out from the company.”
He said this after High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali asked about remarks by Najib’s lawyer Harvinderjit Singh that it was See and Geh Choh Heng who authorised RM293 million to be transferred out from SRC International’s account.
Sithambaram said Ambank received emails from them to move SRC International’s money to Gandingan Mentari, and subsequently to Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd. Part of the RM293 million ended up in Najib’s accounts.
Sithambaram also said that Ambank’s former relationship manager, Krystle Yap, had admitted she had spoken to See about confirming the fund transfers.
“If there was evidence that See did not have authority, and the money didn’t go through, then we would have had to call her,” he added.
The lawyer also said Najib’s testimony that he thought the RM42 million was part of the 2013 “Arab donation” should not be considered by the court.
Sithambaram said the former prime minister had admitted that US$681 million, or RM2.6 billion, had been deposited into his account in 2013 but that most of the funds (US$620 million) was returned to the donor after the general election.
“In this case, the ‘Arab donation’ does not matter as he returned most of the money and only RM162 million was left in his accounts.
“Before the RM42 million came into his accounts between December 2014 and February 2015, the money (RM162 million) was used up,” he said.
On the defence’s “wilful blindness” contention, Sithambaram said Najib should have known and inquired into the source of money.
“The fact that the accused was relying on the confirmation given to him on the purported available funds by Azlin will not absolve him from his duty to inquire into the source of the funds,” he added.
The hearing continues tomorrow.
Najib is accused of abusing his power as prime minister in approving government guarantees for KWAP to lend RM4 billion to SRC International.
He is also slapped with criminal breach of trust and money laundering charges over the transfer of RM42 million of SRC International funds into his bank accounts.
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