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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Ex-foundation chief’s evidence is hearsay, Najib’s appeal told


Najib Razak was sentenced to 12 years’ jail and fined RM210 million after being found guilty on seven charges over RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: The testimony of a former executive of a charity foundation that Najib Razak’s then principal private secretary had asked to coordinate the transfer of RM42 million into Najib’s bank account is hearsay and inadmissible, the Court of Appeal was told.

Lawyer Harvinderjit Singh said Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) chief executive officer Ung Su Ling’s testimony was disputed as her September 2014 meeting with Azlin Alias and his so-called instructions were relied on as evidence in the prosecution’s case.

The lawyer said the alleged December 2014 and February 2015 instructions to Ung from Azlin were purportedly from WhatsApp messages which had not been produced, and admitted to have been disposed of.

“Neither the primary document (a mobile phone) nor WhatsApp messages were produced,” he said in his submission.

Azlin died in a helicopter crash in April 2015. Ung gave evidence in court in July 2019.

Harvinderjit said under cross-examination during the trial, Ung said she had deleted the messages and disposed of the phone as she wanted to “erase the painful memory”.

The lawyer said trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali relied on Ung’s evidence on her conversation with Azlin to link Najib to the charges.

Last July, Nazlan sentenced Najib to 12 years’ jail and ordered him to pay a RM210 million fine after finding him guilty on seven counts of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering in relation to RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Ung had testified that she met with Azlin in September 2014 to discuss YR1M matters as he was one of the foundation’s four trustees.

“Azlin told me that an undisclosed amount of money would be transferred to Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd for corporate and social responsibility programmes.

“He asked for my assistance to inform the CEO of Ihsan Perdana (Shamsul Anwar Sulaiman) to transfer the money to an account,” she had said.

Ung said that in December 2015, Azlin informed her through WhatsApp that RM32 million had been transferred into Ihsan Perdana’s account. Another RM10 million was deposited into Najib’s account in February 2016.

She said she did not know who owned the accounts under AmPrivate Banking-MY and AmPrivate Banking-1MY.

However, Jalan Raja Chulan AmBank branch manager R Uma Devi had testified that those accounts were in Najib’s name.

Harvinderjit also submitted today that Najib’s accounts were manipulated by SRC chief executive officer Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho with the assistance of Ung, Terence (an executive in SRC) and Ambank officials, including its relationship liaison manager Joanna Yu Ging Ping.

“Low also came into the picture to handle Najib’s account because he had an operative in the form of Geh,” the lawyer said.

The hearing continues. - FMT

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