Najib SRC appeal: Prosecution casts doubt on ex-AG Apandi’s integrity over 2016 statement absolving ex-PM as evidence proved otherwise

Kenneth Tee
·3-min read
Former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya April 15, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya April 15, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, April 15 — Former attorney general (AG) Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali’s integrity has been questioned after he previously exonerated Datuk Seri Najib Razak of misappropriating funds belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd when evidence proved otherwise, prosecutors told the Court of Appeal today.

Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram said this during rebuttal to Najib’s appeal hearing against his conviction and jail sentence for misappropriating RM42 million belonging to SRC International.

Sithambaram highlighted how Apandi, who is the 14th defence witness (DW14), had affirmed the two flow charts he held during his press conference to exonerate Najib held on January 26, 2016 were the same flow charts tendered as evidence during the trial.

He said the flow charts which Apandi held clearly showed funds from SRC International entering Najib’s bank accounts were not the Arab donations as claimed by Najib throughout his defence.

SRC International previously obtained two loans totalling RM4 billion from KWAP through two Government Guarantees (GGs) that Najib had signed off on as prime minister and finance minister during two Cabinet meetings held in August 2011 and February 2012.

“DW14 further testified that he had issued two press releases in January 2016 instructing the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigations against the appellant to be closed as DW14 was satisfied inter alia, that there was no evidence to show the appellant had abused his position to approve the GGs of RM4 billion loan to SRC International from the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP).

“The evidence clearly shows that the RM42 million that entered the appellant’s bank accounts were from SRC and not from Arab donations or from any other sources.

“This evidence cast doubt on the integrity of DW14 finding that the appellant was innocent of the offences that were being investigated by the MACC,” he said during the prosecution’s rebuttal submission on Najib’s defence on the abuse of power charge.

Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali had previously defended his public statements from January 2016 that cleared Najib of any wrongdoing over SRC International and a RM2.6 billion donation as the AG then. — File picture by Firdaus Latif
Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali had previously defended his public statements from January 2016 that cleared Najib of any wrongdoing over SRC International and a RM2.6 billion donation as the AG then. — File picture by Firdaus Latif

Sithambaram said during cross-examination, Apandi had agreed that the decision he made in exonerating Najib was based on available material in the investigation papers as at January 26, 2016.

“The decision of DW14 to exonerate the appellant was based on material findings that the appellant did not have knowledge of the offences committed at the conclusion of the SRC investigations then,” he added.

To that end, Sithambaram said it is trite that the decision of any court is not based on the opinion of any person but based on evidence produced in court.

Apandi had previously defended his public statements from January 2016 that cleared Najib of any wrongdoing over SRC International and a RM2.6 billion donation as the AG then.

In the RM42 million SRC International case, Najib was sentenced to 10 years’ jail on each of the three counts of CBT and each of the three counts of money laundering, and 12 years’ jail and a RM210 million fine, in default five years’ jail, in the case of abuse of position on July 28 last year.

However, Najib will only serve 12 years in jail as the judge ordered all the jail sentences to run concurrently.

The appeal hearing before Court of Appeal judge Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil who chaired a three-member panel alongside Datuk Has Zanah Mehat and Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera continues.

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