Confirmed, the RM2.6 billion Najib received came from the Saudis
Yu said USD100 million was deposited in Najib’s account in 2011, another US$375 million in 2012 and RM2.6 billion (US$681 million) in 2013. She said the money came as a donation and gift from a member of the Saudi royal family, Faisal bin Turki, the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Finance and Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners.
(FMT) – The High Court in Najib Razak’s SRC International corruption trial today allowed the defence to question a witness on money which purportedly came from a donation deposited in the former prime minister’s bank account.
Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali allowed defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh to cross-examine former Ambank relationship manager Joanna Yu Ging Ping after hearing a short submission.
“Proceed,” the judge said in ruling that the defence could continue to cross-examine the 54th witness.
Earlier, ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram had got up to object when Harvinderjit questioned Yu on money going into Najib’s Ambank current account ending with the numbers 694.
“Events related to the inflow of Arab money is irrelevant to the charge the accused is facing,” he said.
Sithambaram said there must be some proximity to the charges but events starting from 2011 were “too far off”.
“It has only relevance to the 1MDB case which the accused is (also) charged with,” he said.
In the 1MDB case, to be heard later, Najib is slapped with 25 charges of money laundering and abuse of power over alleged 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.228 billion in his AmBank account between February 2011 and December 2014.
In response, Harvinderjit said he was questioning Yu to establish Najib’s state of mind as only other people were involved in the movement of funds.
“My client is of the opinion that the money he spent came from the overseas donations,” he said.
However, Sithambaram said evidence from Ambank Raja Chulan branch manager R Uma Devi had revealed that there was only RM763.71 in his current account ending with the number 880 before the RM42 million was deposited.
Uma Devi had said Najib had closed the “964” account in August 2013 before opening three current accounts that included “880”.
Today, Yu said USD100 million was deposited in Najib’s account in 2011, another US$375 million in 2012 and RM2.6 billion (US$681 million) in 2013.
She said the money came as a donation and gift from a member of the Saudi royal family, Faisal bin Turki, the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Finance and Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners.
She said only the US$620 million was returned via Tanore Finance Corp in August 2013
Yu says there was “nothing to hide” in regards to the massive inflow of funds into Najib’s account between 2011 and 2013.
“A lot of people knew about this amount.The relevant department handling the current account, the bosses and Bank Negara Malaysia were in the know,” she said.
She also said fugitive financer Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, seemed to be the person issuing instructions on Najib’s bank accounts, while former SRC International Sdn Bhd CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, the accounts’ mandate holder, was only seen formalising the instructions.
Yu said Jho Low used the nomenclatures pie and satay to refer to US dollar and ringgit transactions.
“That is what Low used (in the Blackberry messenger chats),” she said.
Najib is facing six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust in the transfer of RM42 million to his account from SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB.
He is also 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 charged with committing the offences at AmIslamic Bank Bhd on Jalan Raja Chulan and the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya between Aug 17, 2011, and Feb 10, 2015.
The hearing before Nazlan continues.