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Friday, August 19, 2022

Jho Low ‘managed’ Najib’s accounts with others, court told


The prosecution says the former prime minister had admitted previously that he communicated with fugitive financier Low Taek Jho and others to make sure there was ‘sufficient money’ in his accounts. (Bloomberg pic)

PUTRAJAYA: The prosecution in Najib Razak’s SRC International appeal told the Federal Court that fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, was among those who were “managing” the former prime minister’s bank accounts.

Ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram said Low, Najib’s late principal private secretary Azlin Alias and former SRC International CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil were in charge of making sure there were sufficient funds in Najib’s accounts.

“They (the defence) say Jho Low ‘manipulated’ (Najib’s) accounts but that cannot be.

“The former (Ambank) relationship manager (Joanna Yu) said she used BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) to communicate with Jho Low and Nik Faisal on when funds are coming or when the funds in the accounts are low,” he said.

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Yu was the Ambank relationship manager who handled Najib’s accounts in the bank.

Sithambaram pointed out that when the prosecution had cross-examined Najib previously, he admitted that he communicated with Low and Azlin to make sure there was “sufficient money” in his accounts.

“He (Najib) contended that Jho Low manipulated his accounts and ’caused’ RM42 million to flow into his accounts without his concurrence and knowledge, as well as being ‘framed’ by Low.

“It would be obvious from the defence’s case that this argument lacked ingenuity and credibility as he readily admitted that it was he who had instructed Jho Low, Azlin and Nik Faisal to ensure that his accounts had ready monies to enable him to issue countless cheques running into millions,” he said.

Sithambaram also said from 2011 to 2015, when Najib’s accounts were closed, the former prime minister never lodged any complaint against the bank over the RM42 million.

The hearing continues before a five-member Federal Court panel chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat. The others on the bench are Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim and judges Nallini Pathmanathan, Mary Lim and Zabidin Mohamad Diah.

Najib is seeking to quash his conviction for abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust over SRC funds amounting to RM42 million that entered his bank accounts.

His conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal on Dec 8 last year, as was his 12-year jail sentence and RM210 million fine. - FMT

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