MACC’s Riyadh probe into RM2.6bil ‘donation’ to Najib inconclusive, court told

Investigator says two princes linked to pledge letters failed to provide documents to support the purported donation.

(FMT) – A Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer told the High Court here today an investigation conducted in Riyadh into the flow of RM2.6 billion which entered Najib Razak’s bank accounts between 2011 and 2014 had failed to produce the desired results.

MACC investigating officer Nur Aida Arifin said interviews conducted with two Arab princes at a Saudi Arabian palace in 2015 were inconclusive.

She said there was no evidence to support four letters which purportedly pledged a donation from the Saudi royal household to the former prime minister.

“There were no documents to show that the funds channelled into Najib’s accounts came from the two princes,” she said when cross-examined by lead defence counsel Shafee Abdullah.

Shafee did not identify the princes by name.

Aida, the prosecution’s 49th witness, said MACC was also unable to secure statements from either prince about the donation because of royal protocols.

In Najib’s SRC International corruption trial in 2020, MACC officer Nasharudin Amir had testified that he was among a team of five who went to Saudi Arabia between Nov 27 and 29, 2015 as part of the investigation.

He named MACC senior officers Mohd Hafaz Nazar and Fikri Ab Rahim, former deputy public prosecutor Dzulkifli Ahmad and then MACC deputy chief commissioner Azam Baki as the others in the entourage.

Azam is the current MACC chief commissioner.

To another question by Shafee, Aida said the prosecution had not ruled out the possibility of calling the five to testify in the present trial.

In the earlier SRC trial, Nasharudin said only one witness statement was taken at a palace in Riyadh.

He said a man, known as Mohamad Abdullah Al Koman, spoke to them in his capacity as the palace representative.

It was also revealed during the SRC trial that Najib had led a ministerial delegation to meet the late King Abdullah Abdul Aziz Al-Saud.

Evidence was also led to show that during an unofficial meeting held at a Riyadh palace on Jan 11, 2010, King Abdullah had offered financial aid to help Najib win the 2013 general election,

Najib is standing trial on 25 charges of abuse of power and money laundering over alleged 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.28 billion deposited into his AmBank accounts between February 2011 and December 2014.

The hearing before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues.