PUTRAJAYA, Aug 19 — The prosecution argued today that the Federal Court should uphold Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s conviction and send him straight to jail for his crimes in stealing RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd as the former prime minister had admitted as much in a sworn testimony dating back to 2015.
Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram said the direct affirmation could be found in the sworn affidavit that Najib filed in his civil lawsuit against former transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, long before the Pekan MP was charged in the SRC International case.
“The appellant had made an admission in his own affidavit affirming his own knowledge of the RM42 million entering his personal bank account as originating from SRC,” Sithambaram said.
He said the evidence was confirmed by Ranjit Singh, a lawyer who previously represented Dr Ling and had testified in the SRC International trial as a prosecution witness.
“The appellant in his affidavit averred the following, ‘I have admitted that the US$700 million did enter my account as a personal donation and the RM42 million which originated from SRC entered my account without knowing that it was channeled via two intermediaries’,” Sithambaram said.
In his submission, Sithambaram argued that the sworn affidavit provided direct evidence of Najib’s admission of knowledge that led the SRC International to decide the former PM was guilty as charged.
Sithambaram further submitted that all actions taken by Najib in the multiple government positions he held were used to achieve his personal desire to profit wrongfully or cause wrongful loss to SRC International.
“There is no evidence whatsoever that the appellant ever acted to protect and preserve the interests of SRC, as he was legally obliged to do.
“It is plain and obvious that he used all his positions to extract financial gain from the Retirement Funds (Incorporated) (KWAP) loan. What was the appellant’s plan for the billions standing frozen in a Swiss bank is anybody’s guess,” he said.
Sithambaram added that Najib's defence that he did not know the source of funds is also a deliberate lie since the same sworn affidavit confirmed the latter’s knowledge that the RM42 million came from SRC International before entering his personal bank account.
“This constitutes in law an admission in writing against interest,” the prosecutor said.
The Court of Appeal had on December 8, 2021 upheld the High Court’s July 2020 verdict and sentence of 12 years in prison and a fine of RM210 million meted against Najib.
Najib had been found guilty of one count of abuse of power, three counts of criminal breach of trust, and three counts of money laundering.
The hearing at the country’s supreme court had been scheduled to take place over nine days, from August 15 to August 19 and will resume after this weekend from August 23 to August 26.
August 15 and 16 were spent hearing Najib’s bid to add new evidence and seek a postponement that were ultimately disallowed by the Federal Court. The court then fixed August 18 as the start of the main SRC International appeal hearing.
The case is now at the Federal Court, and it is Najib’s last chance to convince the judges that his conviction and punishment should be overturned.