In Najib trial, ex-SRC director says ‘unusual’ for CEO to issue letters with 1MDB logo

Ex-SRC International director Tan Sri Ismee Ismail is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex June 14,2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Ex-SRC International director Tan Sri Ismee Ismail is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex June 14,2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — Tan Sri Ismee Ismail today confirmed a peculiarity that Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil had issued letters in 2011 as the then SRC International Sdn Bhd CEO using the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) logo.

Ismee who is a former SRC director was back as the prosecution’s 39th witness in the trial of Datuk Seri Najib Razak under cross-examination from the former prime minister’s lawyer Harvinderjit Singh who wanted to know why the board had not noticed the discrepancy when discussing company matters.

Harvinder: If this was given to the board, surely this discrepancy would have been clarified?

Ismee: It’s something we may have overlooked.

The letter raised by Harvider was a memorandum signed by Nik Faisal which was addressed to SRC International’s board of directors in November 2011, said to contain minutes of a meeting between the CEO and Najib as the company’s advisor emeritus.

Ismee agreed with Harvinder that it was unusual for Nik Faisal to issue a letter with 1MDB’s letterhead, prepared by company secretary Goh Gaik Kim, considering SRC International had already appointed him as managing director at that time.

Harvinderjit: Would you say it is unusual for a letter with the 1MDB letterhead to be signed off as SRC International’s managing director?

Ismee: Yes.

Harvinderjit: At that time SRC International had its own managing director, correct?

Ismee: Yes.

Harvinderjit: And you cannot confirm if Nik Faisal played any role in 1MDB?

Ismee: I can’t recall.

When reading out his witness statement in the High Court during the examination in chief on Monday, Ismee revealed that he had resigned from as director in 2014, after not being able to subscribe to Nik Faisal’s corporate governance style and financial management habits for three years there.

He had over the course of his testimony mentioned a 2013 incident involving the audit status of SRC International’s accounts, which were falsely reported to the board by Nik Faisal, with Ismee taking it upon himself to get the documents vetted before resigning.

Najib’s trial resumes next Monday with Ismee to continue as witness.

Najib is on trial for seven charges of abuse of position, criminal breach of trust and money-laundering over RM42 million of SRC International’s funds.

During the course of the trial, witnesses have testified that Retirement Fund (Incorporated) gave a total of RM4 billion in loans in 2011 and 2012 to SRC International, with money allegedly flowing through other companies before being transferred into Najib’s accounts.

At the time of the first loan application, SRC International was the wholly-owned subsidiary of 1MDB which was owned by the Finance Ministry’s Minister of Finance Incorporated (MoF Inc); while SRC International was parked directly under MoF Inc by the time of the second loan application.

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