SRC Trial: MACC man says met ‘mysterious’ Saudi prince in 2015 probe of Najib’s RM2.6b donation

Kenneth Tee
MACC investigating officer Mohd Nasharudin Amir is seen at the Kuala Lumpur High Court February 27, 2020. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — A Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigator told the High Court today that officers flew to Saudi Arabia to identify the person known as “Prince Saud Abdulaziz Majid Al-Saud” for the investigation into the RM2.6 billion Datuk Seri Najib Razak claimed was a political donation.

MACC investigating officer Assistant Commissioner Mohd Nasharudin Amir said the team, which comprised MACC officers Mohd Hafaz Nazar and Fikri Ab Rahim, former MACC Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad, MACC Deputy Commissioner (Operations) Datuk Seri Azam Baki and himself — was in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in late November 2015.

At the time, Dzulkifli was a deputy public prosecutor attached to the Attorney General’s Chambers. He was appointed the MACC chief commissioner in August 2016.

Mohd Nasharudin also confirmed in court that he was an investigating officer in Najib’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) probe from August 2015 until May 2018.

Mohd Nasharudin said the purpose of their visit was to investigate the four donation letters purportedly signed by “Prince Saud” and addressed to Najib dated between February 1, 2011 and June 1, 2014.

“The statement was taken at the Palace of King Abdulaziz in Riyadh. A man known as Mohamad Abdullah Al Koman was present as the ‘prince’s representative’,” he said under examination-in-chief by Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

He also said it was Mohamad Abdullah who eventually signed the recorded statement on behalf of the prince as the latter was not versed in English.

On whether the word “donation” was mentioned in the recorded statement, Mohd Nasharudin replied in the affirmative but added that he could not confirm if the sum was indeed a donation as the person who gave the statement did not write the letters.

He also confirmed the presence of Eric Tan Kim Loong, who was a known associate of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, during the statement recording session.

When asked if he had inquired about Tan’s presence, Mohd Nasharudin said he did not as he wanted to act with the utmost decorum in a foreign place despite having several questions of his own.

Later under cross-examination by ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram, Mohd Nasharudin affirmed MACC’s purpose during the visit was to collect evidence in the 1MDB case involving US$681 million (RM2.6 billion).

However, he said no documentary evidence was collected by MACC during their trip to Saudi Arabia.

Sithambaram later asked whether Mohd Nasharudin could confirm Najib’s presence at 1MDB’s corporate headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on January 11, 2010 after conflicting testimonies provided by defence witnesses arose as to where Najib was on that day.

Mohd Nasharudin said he will comply with the prosecution’s request and agreed to provide further documentation when trial resumes next week.

Najib was previously claimed to have been in Kuala Lumpur to officiate the opening of 1MDB’s corporate office on January 11 despite defence witnesses saying the former premier was in Saudi Arabia to meet then Saudi ruler King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al-Saud for an informal meeting with Malaysian delegates on the same day.

Najib is on trial over seven charges related to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

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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