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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

NAJIB TRIAL - Day 46: Yu coached Nik Faisal on what to write to AmBank



The criminal trial of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak involving the alleged misappropriation of funds from SRC International Sdn Bhd enters its 46th 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
  • Yu coached Nik Faisal on what to write to AmBank
  • 'Nik Faisal did not rubber-stamp what I said'
  • Defence tries to establish that Nik Faisal acted under Jho Low's orders
  • 'Money moved between Najib's accounts when funds banked in'
  • Jho Low ignored warnings on multiple cash deposits - witness
  • 'Over RM12m cash banked into Najib's accounts on Jho Low's orders'
  • 'RM7m banked into Najib's account after Jho Low told it was overdrawn'
  • Yu used RM55,000 of own money to regularise Najib's account
  • Court hears of scramble to stop RM5m cheque to Umno from bouncing
  • Jho Low is 'boss' to Permai Binaraya director, witness says
  • 'AmBank didn't flag foreign currency flowing into Najib's account'
  • Cross-examination continues with sterling in Najib's account

Thank you for following Malaysiakini's live report
5.46pm - Thank you for following our live report today.

New area of cross-examination tomorrow: Lawyer
5.17pm - Defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh tells Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali that he will move to a new area tomorrow in relation to the cross-examination of former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu.
Nazlan then allows proceedings to adjourn for the day and set for tomorrow's hearing to begin at 9am.

Yu coached Nik Faisal on what to write to AmBank
5.15pm - The court hears that former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu had coached former SRC International director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil on what he should write to the bank in regards to operations concerning Najib Abdul Razak's bank accounts.
This is established during cross-examination by defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh on the 54th prosecution witness when the lawyer walks Yu through a series of chat messages between her and Nik Faisal in 2015.
The chats include an instance where Yu had coached Nik Faisal word-for-word what he should email the bank to tell them that funds would only be available the next day, while in another exchange, Yu told Nik Faisal what he should reply to Yu's then colleague Daniel Lee.
Yu then agrees to a suggestion by Harvinderjit that the messages read in court were evident that Nik Faisal was someone "who knows nothing" other than what he was told to say.

'Nik Faisal did not rubber-stamp what I said'
4.55pm - "He did not rubber-stamp what I said," witness Joanna Yu says when asked whether Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, the mandate holder for Najib Abdul Razak's AmBank accounts, is a mere rubber stamp.
The former AmBank relationship manager says this to defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh during cross-examination.
Harvinderjit: You are the one who outlined what needs to be done, Nik Faisal is just a rubber stamp, via his e-signature (among others)?
Yu: He did not rubber-stamp what I said.
Harvinderjit: Who drafted the letters of transfer?
Yu: Drafted by the bank, and signed by Nik Faisal so the cheques do not bounce.
Yu is referring to fund transfers between Najib's AmBank accounts ending in 880, 898, and 906.

Defence tries to establish that Nik Faisal acted under Jho Low's orders
4.35pm - Defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh walks witness Joanna Yu through a series of her BlackBerry Messenger chats with 1MDB-linked businessperson Low Taek Jho and former SRC International CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil.
In what appears to be an attempt to show that Low had control over former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak's bank accounts, Harvinderjit gets the witness to confirm several chats between Yu, Low and Nik Faisal in 2014.
This includes a series of exchanges in a group chat, where Low appears to ask Yu to tell Nik Faisal to instruct a money transfer into one of Najib's accounts.
For the record, Nik Faisal was the authorised person mandated to operate Najib's accounts with AmBank.
The prosecution witness later agrees to a suggestion that Nik Faisal was only following Low's instructions.
Harvinderjit: You would agree with me that Nik Faisal only follows instructions from Low?
Yu: Based on this chat, yes.

'Money moved between Najib's accounts when funds banked in'
4pm - Former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu agrees when defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh suggests that money moved between the three accounts of former premier Najib Abdul Razak whenever there was an inflow of local or foreign funds.
Harvinderjit: The movement between the accounts (ending in 880, 898 and 906) only took place after there were remittances of foreign or local funds into the accounts?
Yu: Usually.
Harvinderjit: In the beginning months, for the accounts 880, 898 and 906, there was inter-account movement from the 880 account to the others so the cheques would not bounce?
Yu: Yes.
Harvinderjit: Once the millions (in the 880 account) were depleted, the inter-account movement only happened if there were foreign or local transfers arranged by (fugitive businessperson) Low Taek Jho?
Yu: Yes.
Harvinderjit: So cheques would not bounce?
Yu: Yes.
To a question from Harvinderjit, Yu says most of Low's instructions were formalised by former SRC International CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil (photo), the mandate holder for Najib's accounts.
She also says that Low determines whether money went into accounts that were overdrawn.

Proceedings resume
3.58pm - Proceedings resume.
Court stands down for decision on Shafee's contempt hearing
3pm - The court stands down as lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah has to appear at a separate court for a decision on his contempt charge.
Proceedings are expected to resume shortly after.

Jho Low ignored warnings on multiple cash deposits - witness
2.55pm - Fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho (photo) ignored warnings about the numerous cash deposits into AmBank accounts belonging to former premier Najib Abdul Razak between 2014 and 2015, the court hears.
The bank's former relationship manager Joanna Yu says this under cross-examination by defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh.
Harvinderjit initially asks Yu whether Low ignored her warnings of red flags for suspicious transactions because his need to ensure that Najib's cheques didn't bounce took precedence.
Deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram then tells him to break the question up to avoid confusing the witness.
Harvinderjit: On numerous occasions, you told them (the depositors) no more cash over the counter (due to concerns of being flagged for suspicious transactions), but that was all ignored?
Yu: Yes.
Harvinderjit: Whatever you told them about the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 and the problems faced (were similarly ignored)?
Yu: Whether they took cognisance or not, I do not know.
Harvinderjit: They did not comply?
Yu: They still kept sending cash.

'Over RM12m cash banked into Najib's accounts on Jho Low's orders'
2.50pm - A total of RM12.37 million in cash was deposited into two AmBank accounts belonging to the accused Najib Abdul Razak between June 2014 and March 2015.
This, the court hears, was to ensure that the cheques he issued would not bounce.
According to former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu, the over-the-counter cash deposits were made in 19 transactions into Najib's accounts, ending in 880 and 906, on the instruction of 1MDB-linked businessperson Low Taek Jho.
The witness says this under cross-examination by defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh.
Harvinderjit: Looking at what I have shown you, you will agree, everyone who brings cash in is on instruction from Low?
Yu: Yes he was involved in arranging the deposits. So the cheques wouldn't bounce.
Yu also agrees that all deposits by cheque were made on the same day she informed those depositing cash that Najib's accounts were overdrawn.

'RM7m banked into Najib's account after Jho Low told it was overdrawn'
2.30pm - The deposits of over RM7 million into former premier Najib Abdul Razak's (photo) AmBank account ending in 906 were made in a "reactive manner," according to the bank's former relationship manager Joanna Yu.
She tells defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh that these deposits were made after 1MDB-linked businessperson Low Taek Jho was informed that the account was overdrawn.
Harvinderjit: The 906 (account) had cash (deposits) from June 2014 to March 9, 2015 of about RM7 million?
Yu: Yes.
Harvinderjit: The deposits were done in a reactive manner when Low was informed that the account was at odds with the risk of cheque bouncing?
Yu: Yes.

Proceedings resume
2.10pm - Proceedings resume after the shortened lunch break.

Court breaks for lunch
1pm - Proceedings break for lunch and are expected to resume at 2pm.
The quicker lunch break is necessitated by Najib Abdul Razak's lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (photo) and co-counsel Harvinderjit Singh having to attend a separate hearing around 3pm.
This afternoon has been fixed for a decision on Attorney-General Tommy Thomas' application to cite Shafee for contempt in relation to a media statement on Najib's court case. 

Yu used RM55,000 of own money to regularise Najib's account
12.35pm - Former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu admits that she may have used RM55,000 of her own money to regularise former premier Najib Abdul Razak's bank account in 2014.
This happened on Sept 29 that year, when Najib's account ending 906 was overdrawn by RM55,000, due to an RM80,000 cheque issued without sufficient balance.
According to BlackBerry Messenger chats with one Josie, the secretary of Low Taek Jho, Yu (photo) contacted the 1MDB-linked businessperson to tell him about the need for cash to be deposited in Najib's AmBank account.
Low then instructed Yu to get Kee Kok Thiam to provide the funds, but was told that he was unavailable as he was away in Malacca.
Kee had previously been identified as Low's associate, and was tasked with making cash deposits into Najib's accounts. He is the subject of a civil forfeiture suit in Malaysia.
Low then told Yu to get hold of Josie, after which she learned that the secretary was also away, and could only deposit the funds the following day.
"I may need to help him fund first," Yu told Josie. Defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh asks Yu to confirm this.
Harvinderjit: The RM55,000 did not come from Kee or Josie?
Yu: I can't remember.
Harvinderjit: Again I suggest, it came from you. And Josie paid you back the next day?
Yu: It may have been (the case).
The witness then confirms the veracity of another chat exchange between her and Josie, which took place the next day.
In the chat, Yu thanks Josie for repaying her the sum.

Court hears of scramble to stop RM5m cheque to Umno from bouncing
11am - Details of a series of 2014 chats between former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu, fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho, and former Putra Perdana group CEO Jerome Lee are read out in court.
The chats, read by defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh and confirmed by Yu, revolve around a scramble to ensure enough funds in Najib Abdul Razak's account to stop his RM5 million cheque to Umno from bouncing.
The chat logs reveal that Yu contacted Low on the morning of Sept 10, 2014, to tell him that RM3.8 million needed to be wired into Najib's AmBank account ending in 906 by 3pm that day.
If he failed to do so, she said, the cheque for RM5 million would have to be returned. Low then told Yu to contact Lee to transfer funds into the account. 
Yu then communicated with Lee until a sum of RM5 million was transferred from Putra Perdana Construction's Allianz Bank account into Najib's account.
The court also hears that Low instructed Yu to inform Lee that the transfer of funds should not be made from Putra Perdana's AmBank account.

Jho Low is 'boss' to Permai Binaraya director, witness says
10.45am - Former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu uses the word 'boss' to describe Low Taek Jho (photo), implying that the fugitive businessperson was a superior to Permai Binaraya director Jerome Lee.
Defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh is going through the chat logs of a conversation between Yu and Lee in the middle of 2014.
Harvinderjit: You used (the term) 'boss' for Low, implying that Low is in a superior position to Lee, (who) took instructions from Low?
Yu: Yes.
Yu had communicated with Lee over the transfer of RM27 million from Permai Binaraya's Maybank account to then-premier Najib Abdul Razak's AmBank account ending 880 sometime in July 2014.

'AmBank didn't flag foreign currency flowing into Najib's account'
10.16am - Former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu says that multiple foreign remittances into the accounts of Najib Abdul Razak in 2014 were not brought to Bank Negara's attention.
The witness says this to defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh during cross-examination.
Harvinderjit: These foreign remittances in 2014, no issue was raised with Bank Negara based on documents provided by (Najib's account mandate holder) Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and (fugitive businessperson) Low Taek Jho?
Yu: None were raised by the (AmBank) Remittance Department.
Earlier, Harvinderjit questioned Yu over the millions in foreign currency flowing into Najib's AmBank account ending 880 throughout the year.

Cross-examination continues with sterling in Najib's account
9.45am - Defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh continues his cross-examination by grilling former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu, who was in charge of accused Najib Abdul Razak's accounts, on her chats with 1MDB-linked fugitive Low Taek Jho in 2014.
Harvinderjit (photo) delves into a series of transfers in sterling that flowed into Najib's AmBank account ending in 880 the same year.
The lawyer seems to be trying to establish that Low played a key role in these transactions. 
He suggests to Yu that the funds were "gifts," and asks her which address she directed emails to former SRC International CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, the mandate holder of Najib's accounts.

Najib enters the dock
9.13am - Najib enters the dock as proceedings begin.
Also seen in court are deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram and other members of the prosecution.
9.03am - The accused Najib Abdul Razak enters the court and is seen conferring with his defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, as they await the beginning of proceedings.

Former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu can look forward to at least another day and a half's worth of cross-examination as former premier Najib Abdul Razak's RM42 million SRC International trial enters its 46th day.
Defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh said as much on Monday before Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali. 
The defence today is expected to rely on the voluminous chat logs extracted from Yu, the 54th prosecution witness.
More revelations may still emerge from these logs, such as her dealings with 1MDB-linked fugitive Low Taek Jho in relation to Najib's accounts with AmBank.
On Monday, Yu testified that Low had a propensity of using terms like "American pie" and "satay" as euphemisms for massive transactions in US dollars and ringgit involving the accounts of the accused.
 - Mkini

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