KUALA LUMPUR: A former senior manager admits she was sacked by AmBank but is unsure whether it was due to her handling of Najib Razak’s bank accounts, the High Court heard today.
Prosecution witness Joanna Yu said this when cross-examined by Najib’s counsel Shafee Abdullah.
Shafee: Were you terminated?
Yu: Yes, but there was no show cause letter (from my employer).
Shafee: Was this (her handling of Najib’s accounts) one of the reasons you were terminated?
Yu: I am not sure.
Her dismissal came to light after Shafee asked the witness if she had contacted Najib for instructions on the conversion rates to be applied to money in US dollars deposited into the former prime minister’s accounts.
The 41st prosecution witness also said she did not have her termination letter with her in court.
In her witness statement, Yu, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, said she joined the bank in 1995 but left in 2015.
She said her last position at AmBank was executive vice-president of the wholesale banking coverage division.
During her testimony, Yu repeatedly said that a mandate letter issued in relation to the accounts did not explicitly require her to get instructions directly from Najib.
Shafee then suggested Yu instead only contacted then 1MDB chief investment officer Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, who is the mandate holder of the former prime minister’s accounts, and fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho (commonly known as Jho Low) for instructions in the operation of the account.
Yu admitted it was possible that Jho Low was responsible for arranging the purported “Arab donations” that were deposited into Najib’s accounts.
She also said she accepted Jho Low’s representation to her that the money was a donation.
It was revealed earlier that the Saudi royal family wanted to make donations to Najib for his contribution to the Islamic world.
The witness said she and her boss, then group managing director Ashok Ramamurthy, were not comfortable with large amounts of money being deposited into Najib’s accounts.
However, she said her bank did not alert Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) about the matter.
“We also did not alert Najib about the money that had come from Saudi Arabia,” she said.
Najib is facing 25 counts of money laundering and abuse of power over alleged 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.28 billion deposited into his AmBank accounts between February 2011 and December 2014.
The hearing before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes on Monday.