First witness steps up in Najib’s RM42m SRC International trial

Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex April 3, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex April 3, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — Muhamad Akmaluddin Abdullah was a picture of calm as he stepped into the courtroom this afternoon for the trial of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Of medium height and build, the 35-year-old assistant registrar at the Companies Commission of Malaysia is the prosecution’s first witness called to the stand right after Attorney General Tommy Thomas ended his opening speech, lifting the lid to what is likely the trial of the year at the very least.

Dressed in a black blazer over a light blue shirt and a black tie, he stepped up to the designated seat close to the front of the courtroom near High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

Muhamad Akmaluddin took his oath in Bahasa Malaysia, vowing to tell only the truth and then began reading from his witness testimony, also in the national language, pausing here and there while all attention in the courtroom fell on him.

In his witness statement, Muhamad Akmaluddin confirmed that CCM records showed SRC International Sdn Bhd which was at that time a fully-owned subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), with a capital of RM1 million.

He also said that another company called Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd which was a subsidiary of SRC International had a capital of RM1,000 according to CCM records.

He said a third company called Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd was a RM2 company that was listed in CCM records as being in the business of handling the corporate social responsibility for Yayasan 1MDB.

Ilhsan Perdana was earlier today identified by Attorney General Tommy Thomas as being purportedly appointed as SRC International's corporate social responsibility partner.

Earlier today, Thomas had said the prosecution will produce evidence to show that RM42 million from SRC International passed through the company accounts of Gandingan Mentari and Ihsan Perdana before allegedly being remitted to two AmPrivate Banking accounts belonging to Najib.

Muhamad Akmaluddin today verified multiple documents in CCM records relating to these three companies, including administrative changes such as appointments and resignations of the directors or officials for the companies.

After Muhamad Akmaluddin completed the reading of his witness statement, head of prosecution in the Attorney General’s Chambers Manoj Kurup began his examination.

About 50 documents referred to by Muhamad Akmaluddin in his witness statement were marked as court exhibits.

Najib's lawyer Harvinderjit Singh today started cross-examinations of Muhamad Akmaluddin who has been with CCM since 2007.

Harvinderjit also asked Muhamad Akmaluddin to return with additional CCM documents, including a list showing the date of when documents were submitted by SRC International to CCM.

He also asked Muhamad Akmaluddin to provide the company search results of a company named Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia with a company registration number of 1031163-H and the details of all those who had previously sat as its directors since it was formed.

The cross-examination of Muhamad Akmaluddin is expected to continue on April 15 when Najib's trial resumes.

Najib' trial today revolves around seven charges over the RM42 million of SRC International funds.

Out of the seven charges slapped on him on July 4, 2018 and August 8, 2018, Najib is accused of committing three counts of criminal breach of trust over a total RM42 million of SRC International funds while entrusted with its control as the prime minister and finance minister and as the company's advisor emeritus then, and a separate charge under an anti-corruption law of abusing the same positions for self-gratification of the same RM42 million sum.

The remaining three charges are over Najib's alleged laundering of the same RM42 million.