KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — A former SRC International director told the High Court today that a man claiming to be an anti-graft officer had told him to leave the country, as his cooperation in an investigation was unnecessary.
Datuk Suboh Md Yassin, the prosecution’s 42nd witness in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s SRC International RM42 million trial, explained how he received a phone call from the purported Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer in 2015, who told him there was no need to meet at the graft buster’s headquarters to record his statements as scheduled and instead, told him to leave the country.
“I was afraid of the current situation, also because Datuk Seri Najib Razak was still in power as the Prime Minister at that time; I was not sure of what could happen to me or my family.
“Then I made the decision to go to Bangkok, Thailand, with my wife where I lived for about a month,” he said when reading out his witness statement today, adding that he bore all costs on his own when in Bangkok.
Suboh, as part of his statement, said he was then approached by a local Thai man once in Bangkok, who then handed to him flight tickets for him and his wife to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
He explained that after he landed in Abu Dhabi’s airport, he was escorted to the Rosewood Hotel, where he stayed for about a week, saying all his flight and accommodations costs were taken care of.
“All the flight and accommodations costs were taken care of for me, but I am not aware who bore the costs,” he said in his witness statement.
“I then took a flight back to Bangkok and subsequently flew back to Malaysia,” he said.
During examination-in-chief, Suboh was asked to explain what he intended to relay to MACC officers in 2015 that concerned SRC International. He said he had wanted to explain what he knew about the company.
“During that year when the SRC (International) issue became ‘hot’, I took the initiative to explain all that I knew (to MACC). But before I could do that, I got a phone call, as previously mentioned, from someone claiming to be an MACC officer,” he said.
When questioned by Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Ishak Mohd Yusoff if he had lodged a police report following the phone call, Suboh replied in the negative.
“The person who called me admitted he was from MACC, so there is no need to lodge a police report,” he answered Ishak.
Suboh was appointed as one of SRC International’s directors on 1 August 2011, by way of an appointment letter signed by Najib in capacity as the-then Prime Minister.
However Suboh in court today declared that he had vacated his position as director, but could not pinpoint his exact date of resignation.
His witness statement today also detailed that despite several questionable moves and decisions made by SRC International’s board, he decided to remain with the company as he felt responsible for the huge amount of funds already put into foreign investments.
“Because of that I remained in SRC International’s board of directors to make an effort and make sure the said funds can be brought back home,” he said, reading his witness statement.
Last June, it was reported that Suboh had been granted full witness protection by MACC when he turned himself in to their officers in Indonesia after supposedly being on the run for three years.
Reports also noted how Suboh had not cooperated with authorities much when he was approached four years ago when Najib was still the prime minister, only recording his statement with MACC after the 14th General Election.
Najib is on trial for seven charges of abuse of position, criminal breach of trust and money-laundering over RM42 million of SRC International’s funds.
During the course of the trial, witnesses have testified that Retirement Fund (Incorporated) gave a total of RM4 billion in loans in 2011 and 2012 to SRC International, with money allegedly flowing through other companies before being transferred into Najib’s accounts.
At the time of the first loan application, SRC International was the wholly-owned subsidiary of 1MDB which was owned by the Finance Ministry’s Minister of Finance Incorporated (MoF Inc); while SRC International was parked directly under MoF Inc by the time of the second loan application.
Najib’s trial will resume on July 1 before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.
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