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Thursday, August 22, 2019

NAJIB TRIAL - Day 56: Najib, not Jho Low, benefited from SRC International - witness



The criminal trial of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak involving the alleged misappropriation of funds from SRC International Sdn Bhd enters its 56th day today at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysiakini brings you live reports of the proceedings.

Summary of Najib’s SRC RM42 million case

Najib is facing 7 charges relating to RM42m involving SRC International, a former 1MDB subsidiary.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Laughter in court when judge asks if lawyer has further questions
  • Lawyer: RM3.2m credit card spend not among charges against Najib
  • Najib, not Jho Low, benefited from SRC International - witness
  • Lawyer accuses witness of coercing Suboh to change statement
  • Former SRC director requested safe refuge - MACC officer
  • 'No proof of communication between Jho Low, Nik Faisal and Najib'
  • MACC officer: Jho Low had no benefit from SRC International money
  • Defence disputes authenticity of seized SRC documents
  • MACC investigator questioned on authenticity of Najib's signatures
  • MACC officer: There was apparent money flow from Saudi prince to Najib's account
  • Prosecution and defence spar over admissibility of printout
  • 'I told AmBank to check with MACC before allowing Najib to access docs'

Thank you for following Malaysiakini's live report
5.25pm - Thank you for following our live report today.

Laughter in court when judge asks if lawyer has further questions
4.38pm - The court bursts into laughter when Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali asks lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, in a deadpan manner, if he has more questions for MACC investigation officer Rosli Hussain.
Harvinderjit was flipping through court documents for several seconds, when Nazlan suddenly asks: "Is there any other question?"
Harvinderjit stops as laughter breaks out among prosecutors and those in the public gallery.
The lawyer then replies that he needs to flip through the documents to know whether he can wrap things up.
"I am almost done, just need to go home and look through (the exhibits). (Lead defence counsel) Muhammad Shafee Abdullah has an area to go through (for the cross-examination).
"If it is alright for us to stop here, we can finish by 12 tomorrow," he adds.
Another round of laughter breaks out when Nazlan asks if Harvinderjit means noon, rather than midnight.
"12 noon," he says, smiling.
Nazlan then adjourns the proceedings, which will resume at 9.30am tomorrow.

Lawyer: RM3.2m credit card spend not among charges against Najib
4.34pm - MACC investigation officer Rosli Hussain agrees with defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh's assertion that Najib Abdul Razak's RM3.2 million credit card spend at Grisono in 2014 is not among his seven charges.
Harvinderjit: On the RM3.2 million credit card spending at Grisono in Aug 2014, you agree that it is not the core subject matter of the charges in this case?
Rosli: Yes, but that money was the result of money transferred from Putra Perdana Construction to Permai Binaraya.
When Harvinderjit suggests again that this is not the subject matter of the charges, Rosli agrees.

Najib, not Jho Low, benefited from SRC International - witness
3.50pm - The court hears from MACC investigating officer Rosli Hussain that the person who benefited from SRC International was former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak (photo).
Rosli says this when answering a suggestion by defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh that 1MDB-linked businessperson Low Taek Jho and his business partners were those who had benefited from the company.
"Low has no benefit in this case. The one who has is Najib," Rosli says in a stern tone.
This is Harvinderjit's second attempt today to suggest that Najib had nothing to do with alleged misappropriation of money from the company.

Lawyer accuses witness of coercing Suboh to change statement
3.35pm - The defence goes on the offensive during the cross-examination of Rosli Hussain, suggesting that the MACC investigating officer coerced former SRC International director Suboh Md Yassin to change his statement to investigators last year.
Defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh brings up Suboh's testimony earlier in the trial. Suboh had concurred that his signatures on 17 banking instructions by SRC International to Ambank between 2014 and 2015 could have been forged.
Harvinderjit asks Rosli why Suboh had given conflicting statements to MACC. 
The lawyer says that in May 2018, Suboh told the MACC that he did not sign the Rentas forms for SRC International shown to him – but changed his story when his statement was recorded again in August that year.
"Suboh said that he did not get the chance to look at the documents closely. Who pressured him to change his statement?" Harvinderjit asks.
Rosli explains, at length, the circumstances surrounding the recording of Suboh's statement in Abu Dhabi in 2015, and his health condition upon returning from Indonesia in on May 27, 2018.
After a few minutes, Harvinderjit cuts Rosli off, saying that he had deviated from answering the question.
The MACC officer raises his voice, and asks whether the lawyer wants to hear his answer or not.
The lawyer then tries to cool things down before continuing with his questions.

Former SRC director requested safe refuge - MACC officer
3.30pm - MACC investigation officer Rosli Hussain testifies that former SRC International director Suboh Md Yassin had sought MACC help to seek refuge at the Pullman Hotel.
He tells lawyer Harvinderjit Singh what transpired when Suboh (photo) returned from Indonesia last May.
Rosli: On May 27, 2018, for the recording of statement, we (MACC) brought (Suboh) to Pullman Hotel. MACC paid for the hotel stay.
Harvinderjit: So this is like kurung (house arrest)?
Rosli: He (Suboh) asked for safe refuge (penginapan selamat).

2.41pm - Proceedings resume after the lunch break.

'No proof of communication between Jho Low, Nik Faisal and Najib'
1pm - MACC investigation officer Rosli Hussain agrees with lawyer Harvinderjit Singh that his investigation did not find any communication between wanted businessperson Low Taek Jho, SRC International CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, and Najib Abdul Razak.
Harvinderjit is questioning Rosli on various bank transactions involving millions of ringgit in Najib's AmBank accounts ending with the numbers 880, 906 and 898.
Harvinderjit: In your investigation, you did not find communication between Low, Nik Faisal and Najib, whether email or (phone) chats?
Rosli: None.
Proceedings then adjourn for lunch.

MACC officer: Jho Low had no benefit from SRC International money
12.55pm - Rosli Hussain tells the court that the MACC probe into SRC International did not reveal any benefit to 1MDB-linked businessperson Low Taek Jho (photo).
Defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh poses a series of suggestions to the MACC investigating officer – including that former premier Najib Abdul Razak was not involved in the transactions which eventually led to RM42 million ending up in his AmBank accounts.
However, Rosli replies to all suggestions in the negative.
Harvinderjit: I put it to you that the BlackBerry chats in P578 and D650 show that the person who misappropriated SRC International's money was actually Low?
Rosli: I disagree.
Harvinderjit: I put it to you that the BlackBerry chats show that Low had taken the effort to ensure Najib was not informed of transactions involving his accounts ending with the numbers 880, 906 and 898?
Rosli: I disagree.
Harvinderjit: I put it to you that the chats also show that Low had ordered (former SRC International CEO) Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil to sign the (banking) documents.
Rosli: I disagree.
Harvinderjit: I put it to you that Low was also in control of Putra Perdana Construction and Permai Binaraya accounts through (Putrajaya Perdana Bhd director) Jerome Lee.
Rosli: I disagree, My Lord.
Harvinderjit: I put it to you that these chats show that Low was the one who actually tried to get the money from the accounts 880, 898 and 906 when the accounts went into overdrawn position?
Rosli: I disagree.
Harvinderjit: I put it to you that the chats in P578 and D650 will show that Low was in control of withdrawal of money from SRC International accounts through (former director) Terence Geh.
Rosli: I disagree.
Harvinderjit: I put it to you that based on the chats, they show that Low had misled the bank on sources of the money that were deposited into 880, 906 and 898 accounts?
Rosli: I disagree.
Harvinderjit: I put it to you that these chats show that the transactions that are central of these charges (against Najib) were committed by Low for his own interest?
Rosli: Disagree.
Harvinderjit: By disagreeing, you mean what? You did not investigate these, right?
Rosli: Because my investigation found that there was no benefit for Low.

Defence disputes authenticity of seized SRC documents
12.25pm - Defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh zooms in on documents taken by MACC from SRC International company secretary Chee Suwen and its former board of directors chairperson Ismee Ismail (photo).
In what appears to be an attempt to poke holes in the prosecution's case, Harvinderjit starts questioning MACC investigating officer Rosli Hussain on the authenticity of the documents, and whether there were efforts to investigate whether these had been forged.
The documents in question are minutes from SRC International's board meetings and a directors' circular resolution.
These include a series of documents provided by Ismee to MACC, which contain the minutes of an alleged meeting between then-premier Najib Abdul Razak and SRC International director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil on Sept 7, 2011.
Rosli agrees to a suggestion by the lawyer that no other SRC International directors or company secretary had confirmed the authenticity of the papers.
According to his testimony, MACC investigators did not refer the minutes to the other directors during the recording of their statements.
The minutes were also not referred to Najib when he was questioned by MACC.
Rosli, however, disagrees to a suggestion by Harvinderjit that the minutes could have been forged.

11.43am - Proceedings resume.
11.20am - The court takes a short break.

MACC investigator questioned on authenticity of Najib's signatures
10.45am - Defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh attempts to pressure MACC investigating officer Rosli Hussain over the authenticity of Najib Abdul Razak's signatures on banking documents tendered as evidence.
However, the witness testifies that he takes it that the papers are originals, as they were produced by AmBank.
Rosli (photo), however, agrees he is not an expert in signature analysis and that he did not send the documents to the Chemistry Department for tests.
He also agrees that he never investigated whether the documents were originals, and that he did not order his officers who interviewed Najib to ask about their authenticity.

MACC officer sighted documents on money flow from Saudi prince
10.30am - Rosli Hussain agrees with defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh that the MACC probe into SRC International seemed to show more than RM300 million flowed into Najib Abdul Razak's AmBank account ending with the number 694.
The MACC investigation officer agrees with Harvinderjit that he investigated the account in 2011, and that there was an apparent inflow of money from Saudi royal Prince Faisal Turki.
Harvinderjit: Can you confirm that there was an inflow of money from Prince Faisal Turki?
Rosli: Yes.
When Harvinderjit asks if the amount was more than RM300 million, Rosli says it was roughly that amount.
Harvinderjit: The inflow of money into the account was from the Finance Ministry in Riyadh?
Rosli: Yes.
Harvinderjit: It was given from Saudi Arabia?
Rosli: Yes.
Prosecution and defence spar over admissibility of printout
10.23am - Deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram and defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh verbally spar in court over the admissibility of a printed document from the SPRM Insider website.
Sithambaram says the prosecution objects because the authenticity of the printouts, which purportedly show minutes of MACC investigation papers, cannot be determined.
Harvinderjit (photo) wants to ask MACC investigation officer Rosli Hussain questions about the documents.
"Until the admissibility and relevancy of the document are shown under law, then no reference can be made to them. I have not seen this document.
"Need to determine if they had been doctored or not, where they came from, we do not know (at this juncture)," Sithambaram says.
The prosecutor says if this is allowed, then the defence could go on a fishing expedition.
Harvinderjit counters that among other questions, he is merely asking the witness whether these documents exist.
Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali allows Harvinderjit to only ask Rosli whether the document is genuine.

'I told AmBank to check with MACC before allowing Najib to access docs'
10.10am - Rosli Hussain testifies that he took the initiative to get AmBank to refer to the MACC first before allowing Najib Abdul Razak to access his bank documents.
The MACC investigation officer says this to defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh during cross-examination.
"I did not refer to any act. It was my own initiative," he says.
Rosli testifies that a bank officer by the name of Nazarudin (full name not given) informed him about Najib's lawyers attempting to get access to the documents.
He says he informed Nazarudin earlier this year that the bank need not refer to MACC first.
In previous proceedings, the defence complained that MACC had prevented them from accessing his AmBank documents. The agency has since then allwoed the former premier access.

9.59am - Najib enters the dock as proceedings begin.
9.48am - Najib Abdul Razak enters the court and takes a seat at the front row of the public gallery.

9.20am - Najib Abdul Razak's defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh is seen entering the court and preparing for proceedings.
However, the former premier is not in court, as he and most of the defence team are attending a mention of his RM2.28 billion 1MDB case before Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.
Deputy public prosecutor Suhaimi Ibrahim and other members of the prosecution team are also seen in Nazlan’s court.

The cross-examination of the 57th witness, MACC investigating officer Rosli Hussain, will resume today on the 56th day of Najib Abdul Razak’s RM42 million SRC International trial.
However, proceedings before Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali (photo) will begin slightly later, as the former premier needs to attend case management for the RM2.28 billion 1MDB trial at a separate court.
Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah wants to be updated on the progress and status of the SRC International trial, to help him decide whether to further postpone the trial scheduled for Monday.
Defence lawyers and the prosecution had earlier indicated that they jointly favour the postponement of the 1MDB trial before Sequerah to Sept 3, to enable parties to wrap up the prosecution stage of the SRC International case.
On Tuesday, Najib’s defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh told Nazlan that he needed another day and a half to cross-examine Rosli, the prosecution's final witness.

- Mkini

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