The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) original recommendation was not to charge former Prime Minister Najib Razak, but three others with the alleged misappropriation of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds of RM42 million.
However, the whole charges were reconstructed and redirected towards Najib as the lone target after the 14th General Election (GE14).
This was revealed in the testimony by MACC investigation officer SAC Rosli Hussain when cross-examined by lead defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah during the SRC International trial in Kuala Lumpur High Court today, Tuesday, August 27, 2019.
Rosli’s original recommendation was to charge SRC International’s ex-CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and, Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd (IPSB) managing director Datuk Shamsul Anwar Sulaiman and finance director Datuk Abdul Aziz Ismail.
All three were allegedly involved in transferring funds in and out of various bank accounts, including Najib’s private accounts in Ambank.
Bank documents produced as evidence in court showed that RM27 million and RM5 million were deposited into Najib’s accounts on December 26, 2014, while another RM10 million was transferred into Najib’s account on February 10, 2015.
Excerpts from the cross-examination:-
Shafee: MACC recommended for SRC International chief executive officer Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Dr Shamsul Anwar Sulaiman and IPSB finance director Datuk Abdul Aziz Ismail to be charged under 409 of the Penal Code?
Rosli: Yes, there were.
Shafee: These charges involved transactions of RM27 million, RM5 million, and RM10 million (into Najib’s accounts)?
However, following Pakatan Harapan’s electoral victory on May 9, 2018 and the return of Tun Mahathir Mohamad as the country’ 7th Prime Minister, the whole blame was shifted solely on Najib.
Najib was then charged with 7 counts of corruption pertaining to SRC International’s RM42 million.
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 Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act (MACC) 2009.
Najib had allegedly committed 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.
Shamsul Anwar then turned up as a crucial prosecution witness while Abdul Aziz was not even used as a witness.
Nik Faisal had gone missing since he fled the country on May 7, 2018, just two days before the GE14 balloting day.
The revelation by Rosli, the prosecution’s 57th and final witness, before presiding Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali confirmed widespread suspicion that Najib was subjected to political witch-hunt driven by a personal vendetta.
With Rosli’s testimony, the prosecution rested its prima facie case today, the 57th hearing day of the Najib-SRC trial, which began on April 3 this year.
Judge Nazlan ordered both sides to make their first submissions on Tuesday, Sept 24, 2019, and submissions-in-reply on Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019.
Oct 23 and 24 have been fixed for oral submissions.