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Prosecution selective in charging Najib, says counsel

Free Malaysia Today logo Free Malaysia Today 8/4/2021 V Anbalagan
a man and a woman taking a selfie: Najib Razak was sentenced to 12 years’ jail and ordered to pay a RM210 million fine after he was found guilty of seven corruption charges by the High Court. (Bernama pic) © Provided by Free Malaysia Today Najib Razak was sentenced to 12 years’ jail and ordered to pay a RM210 million fine after he was found guilty of seven corruption charges by the High Court. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: The prosecution had been selective in charging Najib Razak with criminal breach of trust (CBT) in relation to RM42 million in SRC International funds although investigators had issued red notices to arrest three others for the same offence, the Court of Appeal heard today.

Defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had sought Interpol’s help to issue red notices on former SRC director Suboh Md Yassin and CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and another individual identified as Redzuan Adam Shah.

The trio were said to have fled overseas after the Pakatan Harapan government came to power after the May 9, 2018 general election.

“Some time in June or July, red notices were issued against the three for CBT amounting to RM50 million.

“Having taken that position, the prosecution suddenly decided to charge Najib,” Harvinderjit submitted before a three-member bench, headed by Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil.

However, Karim responded: “The public prosecutor has the discretion (on who he wants to charge).”

On the bench with Karim were Has Zanah Mehat and Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.

Between December 2014 and February 2015, RM42 million in SRC funds was moved through a layering process to Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of SRC.

The money was then transferred to Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd and finally to Najib’s accounts in Ambank.

Harvinder said Suboh and Nik Faisal were signatoris of SRC and Gandingan Mentari.

He said Shamsul Anwar Sulaiman, CEO of Ihsan Perdana, which was entrusted to carry out corporate and social responsibility programmes for SRC, then transferred the money to Najib’s accounts.

“Najib was not responsible for the CBT but other people (were responsible) as RM50 million was moved out,” he said.

However, he said the prosecution contended that it was Najib who committed the offence as the prime minister’s then principal private secretary, Azlin Alias, was giving instructions on his behalf.

Azlin died in a helicopter crash in April 2015.

Earlier, Karim instructed Harvinder not to repeat his submission but only highlight the salient points where trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd was said to have erred or misdirected himself.

Last July, Nazlan sentenced Najib to 12 years’ jail and ordered him to pay a RM210 million fine after finding him guilty of seven corruption charges in relation to RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Najib was accused of abusing his power as prime minister by giving government guarantees on SRC International’s RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Inc.

He was also charged with three counts of criminal breach of trust and three money laundering charges in relation to RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former unit of 1MDB.

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