KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 — Money was not withdrawn in the form of cash from Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal AmIslamic bank account — where billions of ringgit had flowed in and out in the past, a bank officer confirmed to the High Court today.
AmBank’s Jalan Raja Chulan branch manager R. Uma Devi confirmed this while testifying as the 37th prosecution witness in Najib’s trial over the misappropriation of RM2.28 billion of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds.
Asked by Najib’s lead defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Uma Devi confirmed that the cheques for millions of ringgit issued from Najib’s AmIslamic bank account with account number ending 9694 — which were produced in court as evidence — were made out to others including political organisations. She confirmed these cheques were not issued to Najib himself.
Shafee: You have confirmed you do not know what these spendings are for, but you agree these cheques can actually be made for yourself if you want to?
Uma Devi: Can.
Shafee: But you find none of them in favour of Datuk Seri Najib?
Uma Devi: So far, I didn’t see anything, the ones shown to me.
Asked by Shafee if all the cheques in question from Najib’s account seemed to be for a particular spending purpose, including for political entities, Uma Devi agreed.
Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, October 5, 2022. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Uma Devi also confirmed that the bank’s statement of account for Najib’s 9694 account did not record any cash withdrawals.
Shafee suggested: “So if someone like Datuk Seri Najib wants to spend for himself, having cash in his hand would be a lot more convenient.”
Shafee also went on to suggest this would be true for a “typical Malaysian” where it would be more convenient to have cash in hand.
Uma Devi merely replied that this “depends on the person”, but later agreed that this could be possible.
Shafee: But there has never been cash withdrawal from the statement.
Uma Devi: Ya, no cash withdrawal.
Files related to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case are brought into the Kuala Lumpur Court Complexm October 5, 2022. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Uma Devi completed her testimony today in court, after having previously testified of huge sums of money having entered and left Najib’s bank account ending 9694.
Based on bank documents, Uma Devi had previously confirmed that Najib’s 9694 account had received over RM60.6 million via two transactions in 2011, over RM90 million via two transactions in 2012, more than RM2.08 billion in just nine transactions within 20 days in 2013.
If these verified transactions of money coming into Najib’s account from the years 2011 to 2013 are added up, it would come up to RM2,233,006,692.71 or over RM2.2 billion.
Uma Devi previously also confirmed that Najib’s 9694 account had sent out money totalling RM15,720,036.80 or over RM15.7 million via 72 cheques from March to December 2011, and RM47,711,026 or over RM47 million via 79 cheques from January to May 2012.
Uma Devi had also confirmed RM2,525,025,713.87 or RM2.5 billion was moved out of Najib’s 9694 account during April 23 to August 30, 2013, namely via RM2.5 billion worth of transfers in five transactions, over RM162 million shifted to another of Najib’s AmIslamic account ending 1880, and with the remaining RM22.649 million given out via five cheques.
The prosecution had previously said that RM2.28 billion of 1MDB funds were misappropriated and sent to Najib’s accounts, but Najib’s lawyers have been attempting to claim that these funds were from purported donations from Saudi royalty.
Najib’s 1MDB trial before High Court judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes tomorrow afternoon, with Najib’s lawyers expected to continue cross-examining the 39th prosecution witness and former AmBank group managing director Cheah Tek Kuang.