Prosecution rests case on Najib’s RM42m SRC International corruption trial

Attorney General Tommy Thomas arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex August 27, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Attorney General Tommy Thomas arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex August 27, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 — The prosecution’s case against Datuk Seri Najib Razak who is charged with abusing RM42 million in funds from state-owned SRC International Sdn Bhd has ended after 57 days.

Attorney General Tommy Thomas told the High Court today that the prosecution is formally closing its case after its 57th and final witness, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Senior Assistant Commissioner Rosli Hussain, stepped down from the witness box.

Thomas also said the prosecution has a total of 66 witnesses from a list to offer if defence is called next.

“This trial began April 3 and we have just completed our 57th prosecution witness.

“With that we formally close the prosecution’s case,” he said.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex August 27, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex August 27, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, who is presiding over the trial, then fixed October 22 and 23 for oral submissions.

Mohd Nazlan also set November 11 to decide whether prima facie has been established against the accused and for his defence to be submitted.

The court also tentatively set December 3-4, 9-12 and 16-19 for continued trial dates if the defence is called.

Both Thomas and Najib’s defence lawyer, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, also thanked Mohd Nazlan for sitting through the trial which spanned almost 60 days.

Later when met outside the court, ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram said he was confident that the prosecution has proven a case for Najib to answer.

“We are confident we have proved a prima facie case which warrants the accused, Najib, to answer the charges levelled against him by the prosecution,” he said.

Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram, who leads the prosecution team, addresses the media at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex during last day of SRC International trial, August 27, 2019. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram, who leads the prosecution team, addresses the media at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex during last day of SRC International trial, August 27, 2019. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

Najib’s SRC International trial began on April 3 this year with the prosecution calling 57 witnesses to the stand.

Those called included former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu Ging Ping, former second finance minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah, former SRC International board chairman Tan Sri Ismee Ismail and Datuk Azian Mohd Noh who is former Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) chief executive. 

Out of the seven charges Najib faced, the Pekan MP 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 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 of the seven charges are for allegedly money-laundering the same total sum of RM42 million.

With the prosecution wrapping up the case, Najib’s highly-anticipated corruption trial over the RM2.3 billion funds from 1MDB at the High Court here will thus begin tomorrow.

Under the 1MDB trial, Najib is facing a total of 25 charges, namely four counts of abusing his position for his own financial benefit totalling almost RM2.3 billion and the resulting 21 counts of money-laundering.

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