Najib right for not reporting RM42m fund transfer into personal accounts, lawyer says

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Complex, October 23, 2019.  ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Complex, October 23, 2019. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s refusal to lodge a police report over the alleged transfer of RM42 million funds belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd between 2014 and 2015 was the right move then, his lead defence lawyer said today.

Justifying Najib’s decision, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah revealed that his client wished not to interfere with ongoing police investigations which had commenced following an exposé by whistleblower website Sarawak Report article in July 2015.

“This is important because Datuk Seri Najib came to know (about the fund transfers) almost about the same time when the public came to know, by which time investigations have already been undertaken.

“Datuk Seri Najib knew investigations has been undertaken. So why do you want to lodge a report?” he told a press conference after the submission at the close of the prosecution’s case at the High Court here.

Yesterday, the prosecution raised during its oral submission that Najib’s inaction in lodging a report to the authorities equated to him being complicit to the crime.

Muhammad Shafee then explained the purpose of lodging a police report was for the authorities to undertake investigations and Najib did not want to be entrapped in a situation where he would be accused of pressuring investigators.

It was previously revealed in court that Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd made cash transfers in three tranches of RM27 million and RM5 million on December 26, 2014 and RM10 million on February 10, 2015 into two AmPrivate Banking-MY accounts (2112022011-880 and 2112022011-906) belonging to Najib.

The three fund transfers were then recorded as “funds for CSR programmes”.

IPSB was the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) subsidiary SRC International.

Prosecution witness and IPSB managing director Datuk Dr Shamsul Anwar Sulaiman previously testified that he was not instructed by Najib to lodge a police or MACC report over the matter.

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

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.

High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali will deliver his judgement and decide if the prosecution has successfully proven a prima facie case against Najib at 10am on November 11.

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