KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today labelled the wrongdoings that he is accused of as ludicrous, while denying that he placed cronies within government institutions to aid his allegedly corrupt practices.
When under re-examination by his lawyer Farhan Read, Najib said he should be given more credit than to be seen as someone who would intentionally siphon funds from a company listed under the Minister of Finance (Incorporated) (MKD) Department and straight into his personal bank account.
Najib made the stand today when he was asked to explain his answer to ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram during cross-examination, where he had disagreed with the suggestion that his cronies were placed in strategic positions to allow the alleged corrupt practices to take place.
“To think logically, I’ve been in government for a long time, so it is ludicrous for me to take money from an MKD company to begin with and in some way or manner put it in my personal account.
“If I had the criminal mind to cheat, I would have been a stupid person to do it in this manner; you would not put stolen money into your personal account. A lot of people, including Bank Negara Malaysia, would know about it.
“A lot of people must give me credit; I not that stupid. I am maybe not the most intelligent person, but I am not stupid to do something so bizarre,” Najib testified today.
Najib, testifying as the first defence witness in his RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd trial, went on to tell the court how not one witness has testified under oath that explicit instructions came from him to affect the transfer of millions into his personal bank account.
He added that no documentary evidence has been produced in court to corroborate the prosecution’s case accusing Najib of issuing instructions to effect the transfer of RM42 million into his personal bank accounts.
“There were no instructions or hint of that money is to be transferred to my account, no witness has come forward to say that I gave instructions to make the transfer; there is no written evidence, no one sighted a meeting in which the RM42 million was discussed.
“There was also no evidence that the RM42 million was offered to me as a bribe to take part in the process of obtaining the government guarantee. There is no basis I knew about the RM42 million at all,” he testified.
Najib went on to explain that the appointment of directors to SRC International’s board was done under the recommendation of its former parent company 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), and not for other reasons.
He dismissed the argument that these individuals effectively functioned as his proxies within the company to ultimately carry out his instructions as adviser emeritus.
“They are not my proxies because I do not decide (their appointments) on my own. It was a suggestion by 1MDB.
“Even though I might know one or two of them personally, but to be a crony, you have to have a personal relationship. I was never on personal terms with them,” he added.
Najib is on trial over seven charges related to SRC International.
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.