Najib admits in court to having no plans of his own to retrieve SRC funds frozen in Switzerland

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Datuk Seri Najib Razak is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court January 22, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak admitted today that he did not have any plans of his own to retrieve monies belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd from its Swiss account that was suspended in 2013 for suspected money laundering activities.

The former prime minister, who is on trial for allegedly misappropriating RM42 million from the state-owned firm, previously told the High Court that he not granted permission to Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah who was second finance minister then to fly to Switzerland as the latter had no “proper plan” to recover the funds and had not made any formal application either.

Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram raised the issue while cross-examining Najib who is testifying as the first defence witness.

Sithambaram: Another lame excuse of yours for not allowing Husni to attend the trip to Switzerland was that he had no plan?

Najib: Yes, he did not have a proper plan.

Sithambaram: If a minister makes a request to you to go to Switzerland to get the funds back, what kind plans do you want?

Najib: I was expecting him to tell me in detail how he would go about it.

Sithambaram: The fact that you stopped Husni from getting the money from a government-to-government initiative was because you never wanted the money back?

Najib: I disagree.

Former finance minister II Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court August 6, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

He also disagreed when the prosecutor suggested that Najib himself should have provided Ahmad Husni a plan to claim the frozen funds, saying the responsibility lay with the second finance minister and the management of SRC International.

Sithambaram: You, as the prime minister and minister of finance, should have given him a plan.

Najib: I disagree with that. And the management of SRC has to settle it.

Sithambaram: Did you come up with a proper plan since it was your baby?

Najib: No, it was up to the management. If he came up with a proper plan, yes.

Sithambaram: Did you have a plan?

Najib: Eventually, we would have to deal with it through government-to-government. 

Last month, Najib denied in court that he had disallowed Husni from going to Switzerland in 2013 for fear of his alleged cover-up being discovered by the latter.

Previously Ahmad Husni testified that he met with Najib and sought the latter’s permission to bring a delegation comprised of the Finance Ministry, Bank Negara Malaysia and the Retirement Fund (Incorporated) to clarify the matter with the Swiss authorities.

Najib has been called to enter his defence to answer seven charges related to SRC International.

Three are for criminal breach of trust over a total RM42 million of SRC International funds while entrusted with its control as the prime minister and finance minister then, three more are for laundering the RM42 million, and the last is for abusing the same positions for self-gratification of the same sum.

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