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10 APRIL 2024

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Habibul: Najib gave me RM2.5m to spend on political intelligence

NAJIB TRIAL | Najib Abdul Razak had given a member of his inner circle RM2.5 million for political intelligence gathering, the Kuala Lumpur High Court heard today.
Witness Habibul Rahman said the money was for "BN's political benefit".
DPP Muhammad Saifuddin Hashim Musaimi: Can you explain why the cheque was made out to the law firm instead of you?
Habibul: I purposely requested that because (if it was) under my name it will appear as my income and revenue.
It is not for my purposes. It is for political defence operations, used (to obtain) political intelligence and political goodwill.
Saifuddin: Intel for whom?
Habibul: It is written in a list, all those people who received (the money). The money is for political reimbursement.
(Sometimes) I had to spend my own money. So I took (some of the money).
To recap, Habibul's lawyer Ashraf Abdul Razak had told the court last Wednesday that his former law firm had received RM2.5 million on the client's behalf.
Ashraf then testified that he received instructions from Habibul to make several payments, including to the client's wife and children.
Today, Habibul explained that the money that went to his family was reimbursement for money that he had spent for political intelligence gathering purposes.
Habibul also clarified that Ashraf had incorrectly told the court that the RM2.5 million was meant for a defence contract. 
During cross examination by defence counsel Shafee Abdullah (above), Habibul agreed that "all" Umno presidents handle the party's coffers.
When Shafee asked if Habibul had asked Najib about the source of the funds, the witness said he believed the money was from "political donations".
"Since 1984 when I joined Umno, it has always been the talk that when you are PM, everybody want to give you political donations to have goodwill with you."
Shafee: You do what is called 'political defence operation'. Is it too sensitive to ask on this? (Can you give us) a broad idea of what this is about?
Habibul: In politics, you need a certain level of knowledge on what you expect to happen, hence political intelligence. You need networks that will provide information from time to time. Nobody gives information for free.
You need to show goodwill to the division heads. They will be willing to help you as a result.
Shafee: Have you undertaken any specific political projects?
Habibul: I don't think I want to answer this. I wouldn't say 'black ops'. (Instead I call it) 'special ops'. 'Black ops' is too black.
Shafee: Any legal issues involved?
Habibul: Nothing illegal. The idea is to defuse political crises and get rid of political enemies. - Mkini

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