KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s lawyer today produced in court a chart of the money trail of a total RM103 million from former 1MDB unit SRC International Sdn Bhd, including a total of RM42 million to Najib himself.
Najib’s lawyer Harvinderjit Singh outlined the money trail during December 2014 to April 2015, saying that the funds flowed from SRC International to its subsidiary Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd, and that the funds were subsequently transferred to SRC International-linked firm Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd’s Affin Bank accounts.
Harvinderjit said the funds then flowed from Ihsan Perdana to Najib as well as other unspecified recipients.
Harvinderjit said that only RM42 million of the RM103 million went to Najib.
Harvinderjit outlined the money trail when seeking for documents from an Affin Bank officer to identify who received the rest of the money from the RM103 million sum.
Affin Bank processing officer Rosaiah Mohamed Rosli is the 20th prosecution witness.
Today is day eight of Najib’s money-laundering and corruption trial over RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd.
At the start of Najib’s trial, Attorney General Tommy Thomas had said the prosecution would seek to establish that RM42 million of SRC International funds passed through the accounts of the company’s corporate social responsibility partner Ihsan Perdana and SRC International’s subsidiary Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd before reaching Najib’s AmBank accounts.
Today, when seeking for the additional 11 bank documents, Harvinderjit argued that all RM103 million originated from the same source — SRC International — and that it was essential for the defence to learn where the rest of the money went.
“If the prosecution’s case is that out of SRC, a total of RM42 million ended up into accounts belonging to Datuk Seri Najib, it is also relevant to note over RM60 million did not end up in Datuk Seri Najib’s accounts and ended up somewhere else.
“This is why I say this is desirable and necessary for us to determine where the money went to,” he said.
“It is part of our defence that the same people in SRC were conducting some business, questionable and dubious business, where money from SRC has been channelled to a number of entities and issued to unknown recipients, part of the money may have ended up with Datuk Seri Najib,” he added.
Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram objected, however, to Harvinderjit’s request for the additional documents by arguing that these were outside the scope of Najib’s trial involving seven charges relating to SRC International’s RM42 million.
“This case is based on seven charges, specific seven charges. This court is not going to conduct an inquiry of how other money irrelevant to these charges were spent or used on Our case is solely related to RM42 million as stated in the charges,” Sithambaram said.
“If we go on this thread, if this is allowed, for every banker, we have to go on a wild goose chase which has no relevance to the charges,” he said, noting that Najib’s lawyers were free to produce documents at the defence stage later on.
The trial is currently at the prosecution stage, in which prosecutors must prove that there is a case for Najib to answer and enter his defence.
Harvinderjit responded to say the way the money from SRC International allegedly reached Najib was “part of the same system” where the rest of the RM103 million was paid out, insisting that those documents on the recipients of the over RM60 million figure were consequently relevant here.
“It’s my client’s defence that he was manipulated by certain people and these people gained tremendously,” he claimed.
High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali finally ruled that Najib’s lawyers would only be allowed to get one additional banking document considered relevant to Najib’s charges in this case.
The document that Najib was allowed to get from Affin Bank’s Rosaiah is regarding an RM8 million cheque with the number 0019327 as issued from an Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd’s Affin Bank account on December 30, 2014.
Earlier, when outlining seven transactions in his own chart on the purported money trail of funds originating from SRC International, Harvinderjit had said that RM40 million went into Gandingan Mentari’s account and was transferred to Ihsan Perdana on December 24, 2014.
Harvinderjit said RM27 million and RM5 million out of the RM40 million were transferred to accounts belonging to Najib, while the remaining RM8 million from the RM40 million sum was transferred out via a cheque ending with 19327 to an “unknown recipient”.
The trial resumes this afternoon.
Last week, Najib’s lead defence lawyer, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, claimed to reporters that his client was purportedly the “victim” of a “conspiracy” by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho.