SRC Trial: Ex-MACC chief proposed to Gani Patail to press charges against Najib in 2015

Datuk Seri Najib Razak is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court March 9, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Datuk Seri Najib Razak is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court March 9, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 — A police investigator told the High Court today that it was then Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed who had suggested for Datuk Seri Najib Razak to be charged with corruption over SRC International Sdn Bhd funds deposited in the latter’s bank accounts.

Testifying as the 14th defence witness in Najib’s RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd corruption trial, Assistant Commissioner R. Rajagopal said this under examination-in-chief by Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah when asked if anyone suggested for Najib to be prosecuted.

Rajagopal revealed that the suggestion was made during a 1MDB special task force meeting which had taken place at then Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail’s house on July 4, 2015.

In March 2015, a three-panel task force was set up to investigate allegations of misconduct involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) comprising the Attorney-General Chambers, MACC, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the police.

Muhammad Shafee: He suggested to the task force?

Rajagopal: It was mentioned in the task force to the AG.

Muhammad Shafee: Abu Kassim suggesting that the serving prime minister should be charge for src case, for the RM42 million?

Rajagopal: Correct

Muhammad Shafee: Did he said anything else that you can remember?

Rajagopal: Not that I can remember but I know the suggestion to charge (Najib) was made in the task force meeting.

Rajagopal also told the court he had represented then Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar during the multi-agency task force meeting.

Apart from Abu Kassim and Abdul Gani, others who attended the meeting included then BNM governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz and BNM’s Financial Intelligence and Enforcement Department director Abdul Rahman Abu Bakar.

At the material time, Rajagopal was a police superintendent attached to Bukit Aman’s Commercial Crime Investigations Department.

The task force was later disbanded a month later in August 2015 following the termination of Abdul Gani’s tenure in July 2015 due to health reasons after Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali was subsequently appointed his successor later that month.

When asked if Abdul Gani had made any decision during the meeting on whether to prosecute Najib then, Rajagopal replied in the negative.

Apart from Abu Kassim’s suggestion raised in the task force meeting, Rajagopal also said the police was instructed to conduct raids at 1MDB’s corporate office and confiscate all documents for investigation purposes.

Under cross-examination by ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram, Rajagopal explained that it was the money trail evidence that depicted RM42 million transferred into Najib’s account from SRC International that was raised during the task force meeting which led to Abu Kassim’s suggestion.

Najib is on trial over 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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