By Syamimi Che Soh
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had allegedly conducted a shoddy investigation on the financial manipulation of former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s private accounts vis-a-vis the SRC International Sdn Bhd.
The suspicion was evoked by the testimony of investigating officer (IO) Rosli Hussain at Kuala Lumpur High Court today, Tuesday, August 20, 2019.
During a cross-examination on the 54th hearing day of the trial, Rosli testified that the MACC initiated a probe into Datuk Seri Najib’s private accounts in Ambank after a blog, Sarawak Report (SR) published an article titled: ‘Sensational Findings – Prime Minister Najib Razak Personal Accounts Linked To 1MDB Money Trail’ – on July 2, 2015.
SR is operated by British mercenary writer Clare Rewcastle Brown.
Following the publication of the article, a MACC officer, namely Prem Raj, lodged a graft report on the next day, July 3, to initiate an investigation.
Despite SR and Clare Brown “inspiring” the MACC probe, Rosli, who was appointed as the case IO on July 6, never had interviewed the Briton.
SR and the WSJ are the two main media outlets that had carried out on a worldwide campaign to smear Najib with dubious graft allegations.
One can recall that Clare Brown had always claimed to have tonnes of smoking evidence to substantiate all her dubious allegations against Najib pertaining to 1MDB.
But, of the 193 people that Rosli had either interviewed or talked to, or recorded statements, the name of Clare Brown was shockingly missing.
Even more shocking was his answer during the cross-examination by the defence today.
“No necessity to meet her,” testified Rosli when asked whether he had recorded a statement or collected evidence from the “gun for hire” Clare Brown to assist his investigation.
Clare Brown-SR slanders on Najib and 1MDB acted as the catalyst agent to trigger the anti-Najib campaign that eventually paved way for the return of Tun Mahathir Mohamad as country’s 7th Prime Minister in the 14th General Election (GE14).
But MACC decided that Clare Brown was not an important material witness for such a high profile trial!
Pekan MP Najib currently faces 7 corruption charges involving RM42 million of SRC International funds.
The charges were 3 each for CBT under Section 409 of the Penal Code and money laundering under Section 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities (AMLA) Act 2001, and 1 for abuse of power under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009.
Najib, 66, was charged with committing the offences at AmIslamic Bank Bhd in Jalan Raja Chulan and the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya between Aug 17, 2011, and Feb 10, 2015.
Rosli had also interviewed and recorded statements from many others, who were not called up to testify before presiding Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.
Most notable of them were ex-Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, fugitive businessman Low Thaek Jho or Jho Low, SRC International’s former CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and ex-financial officer Terence Geh Cho Heng, Jho Low’s business partner Rosman Abdullah of Putra Perdana Group of Companies, money changer Ariffin Ismail Sahul Hameed of Mail Global Resources Sdn Bhd, Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) project director Daniel See Thuan Buan and officer Kee Kok Chiam, and many more.
These people have either been omitted by MACC as witnesses or had fled the country.
Among those who fled were Jho Low, Nik Faisal and Kok Chiam – the person who made cash deposits into Najib’s accounts on Jho Low’s instructions, and Terence Geh.
Surprisingly Zeti’s statement was recorded in August 2018, only after Najib was charged.
Najib-SRC trial is scheduled to be completed this week with Rosli as the final 57th witness.