SRC probe began after Sarawak Report’s article, court told

It is believed Sarawak Report was engaged by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to attack SRC International and 1MDB in the plot to oust Najib Tun Razak

(FMT) – Intelligence gathered by the anti-graft agency and a report published in whistleblower website Sarawak Report (SR) led to the commencement of the SRC International Sdn Bhd probe, the High Court heard today.

MACC investigating officer Rosli Hussain said the report was filed by his colleague, V Premraj, on July 3, 2015.

“The report was made at 11.30am before MACC officers went to meet former SRC company secretary Chee Suwen and seized some documents,” he said when cross- examined by Najib Razak’s lawyer, Harvinderjit Singh.

Rosli, the prosecution’s 57th and final witness in the trial of the former prime minister, however, said he did not instruct the MACC officers to meet Chee and confiscate the documents.

He said he was appointed investigating officer on July 6, 2015 by his superior, Bahari Mat Zain, who was director of MACC’s special operations division.

Rosli said he classified the SRC International case under the MACC Act, Penal Code and Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act.

He said he had read a report titled “Sensational Findings! – Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Personal Accounts Linked to 1MDB Money Trail, Malaysia Exclusive” published by Sarawak Report on July 2, 2015.

However, he did not meet or interview Sarawak Report founder and editor Clare Rewcastle Brown as part of the probe.

“I also did not investigate how they obtained information that was published on its website that day,” he told Harvinderjit.

Rosli dismissed a suggestion by the lawyer that the investigation paper was opened following a report in the Asian Wall Street Journal (AWSJ) titled “Investigators Believe Funds Flowed To Malaysian Leader’s Account”, which was also published on July 2.

He said he did know how Sarawak Report and AWSJ had obtained the information that became the foundation of their reports, adding it appeared to have been leaked by some unknown sources.

“We only collected documents from SRC and Ambank through Bank Negara Malaysia officials after making a report,” he said.

Rosli said he was given up to Dec 31, 2015 to complete the probe, and the investigation papers were then delivered with recommendations to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for action.

On Jan 26 , 2016, the then attorney-general (AG) Mohamed Apandi Ali cleared Najib of any wrongdoing in relation to the SRC case and the RM2.6 billion donation received from an Arab prince.

Rosli said that after the general election last year, he met newly appointed AG Tommy Thomas twice after the investigation on SRC was restarted.

Najib faces 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.

The Pekan MP 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 judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazal has been adjourned to Thursday.