SRC Trial: Ex-MACC chief says shocked by MACC’s recommendation to press charges against Najib in 2015

Former MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad is pictured at Kuala Lumpur High Court March 10, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Former MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad is pictured at Kuala Lumpur High Court March 10, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 — Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad said he reacted with “shock” when the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) recommended criminal charges to be brought against Datuk Seri Najib Razak for alleged “dishonest misappropriation of funds” related to SRC International Sdn Bhd in 2015, the High Court heard today.

Testifying as the 17th defence witness in Najib’s RM42 million SRC International corruption trial, Dzulkifli said this happened when the Investigation Papers (IP) were submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) on December 31, 2015.

At the material time, then MACC Special Operations Division director Datuk Bahri Mohamad Zin had suggested Najib be prosecuted under Section 403 of Penal Code for dishonest misappropriation of property.

“To us in the AGC, it is important to prove the element of knowledge in Section 403 of the Penal Code.

“In my and the Attorney General’s (Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali) opinion, the investigations were sufficient for the AGC to classify the case under ‘No Further Action’,” he said during examination-in-chief by Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Dzulkilifi was one of the deputy public prosecutors assigned by Mohamed Apandi to look into the IPs of both SRC International and the RM2.6 billion donation case.

He also told the court the decision by the AG to close the case was made after MACC failed to fulfil two crucial criteria — the lack of recorded statements showing Najib was aware the said funds entering his accounts were SRC monies and that he had given instructions for the funds to be transferred into his accounts.

Dzulkifli further explained how MACC had issued a press statement dated August 5, 2015 confirming the RM2.6 billion funds in Najib’s bank accounts were a donation.

In the aforementioned press statement, MACC confirmed the donors who deposited RM2.6 billion Najib’s bank accounts were from the Middle East whose identities could not be disclosed.

According to MACC, it had found four letters that were given to the bank when the RM2.6 billion amount was deposited into Najib’s account, with the bank documents stating that the contribution was a “donation.”

“At the same time, I personally (as a deputy public prosecutor under the AGC) have gone with MACC to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to verify the said donation letters,” Dzulkifli added.

It was made known in court previously that MACC officers including Dzulkifli had flown to Saudi Arabia to identify the person known as “Prince Saud Abdulaziz Majid Al-Saud” as part of the investigation into the RM2.6 billion Najib claimed was a political donation.

For those reasons, Dzulkifli said the issue concerning the RM2.6 billion donation was therefore “settled” since he had also looked through Najib’s recorded statement in the IP confirming the funds were “Arab money.”

Datuk Seri Najib Razak is pictured at Kuala Lumpur High Court March 10, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Datuk Seri Najib Razak is pictured at Kuala Lumpur High Court March 10, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

Najib has consistently maintained throughout the trial that the funds which originated from senders identified as Prince Faisal Turki, Blackstone Real Estate Partner, and Tanore Finance Corp, were part of donations from then Saudi monarch King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

Najib is on trial for seven charges related to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Three are for criminal breach of trust over a total of 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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