Najib says ‘delegated’ bank account to others, not responsible for their wrongdoings

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Complex December 18, 2019. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Complex December 18, 2019. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 18 ― On trial for corruption, Datuk Seri Najib Razak told the High Court today that he had delegated the management of his AmBank accounts to others, and “cannot” be held responsible if they misused their authority in conducting transactions.

The former prime minister is testifying in his own defence for the alleged RM42 million losses from SRC International Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of 1MDB.

In court today, the Pekan MP was cross-examined by ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram who asked Najib if he managed his own his AmBank personal accounts and transactions.

Najib had earlier confirmed that he had granted a mandate to Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, at that time SRC international chief executive, to manage those bank accounts.

Sithambaram then showed Najib a document containing Nik Faisal’s instructions to the bank for the transfer of RM20 million from his account ending-880 to two other accounts ending-898 and 906, in two separate stashes of RM10 million each.

Sithambaram then showed several cheques bearing varying amounts that was issued through both AmBank accounts and suggested to Najib that he could not have issued them if he didn’t have sufficient money in the two accounts.

Sithambaram: So you agree with me without the RM10 million being deposited you cannot have issued those cheques?

Najib: Yes.

Sithambaram: Are you personally responsible for your bank account?

Najib: In practice I delegated it.

Sithambaram: Despite you delegating it, are you personally responsible for your bank account? 

Najib: If they did something wrong, I cannot be responsible 

Sithambaram: How could he did something wrong when he transferred the money into your account and you spent it but he didn’t?

Najib: I assume it was donation money. 

Sithambaram said he was baffled by the Pekan MP’s insistence that he was unaware of the source of “millions” of money that had been deposited into his bank accounts and which he had spent.

“I assume the money was from donations,’’ Najib repeated.

Najib has been called to enter his defence to answer seven charges related to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Three are for 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, three more are for laundering the RM42 million, and the last is for abusing the same positions for self-gratification of the same sum.

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