KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak today denied that he gave specific instructions to an officer from the Ministry of Finance (MOF) to rush through the approval process of obtaining the first government guarantee for SRC International Sdn Bhd.
In reading his witness statement during the defence of his RM42 million corruption trial, Najib said he had never given out such instructions to rush the process needed to obtain the approval of the Cabinet, as testified previously by prosecution witnesses.
Najib, testifying before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali today, said the topic of SRC International obtaining a government guarantee was discussed by relevant government departments since June 2011 before it was approved two months later, and that such decisions would have also needed the approval of the senior officials from MOF.
“Having said that, I did not give out any instructions to any member of the Treasury to expedite the matter through the Cabinet as previously testified by Puan Afidah Azwa (Abdul Aziz), who mistakenly and unintentionally called SRC the ‘PM’s company’,” he said when reading out his statement today.
“My only interest in SRC was that it was of national interest,” he said.
Previously, Afidah had testified that she was informed by her superiors within the ministry to expedite the preparation of an internal memo over the granting of the first government guarantee for SRC International’s Sdn Bhd’s first RM2 billion loan from the Retirement Fund (Incorporated) (KWAP).
She had testified that SRC International was made known to her as the PM’s company by her higher-ups, and that no other reason was given to her to justify why she needed to rush the process.
Najib testified today that no appeal was made to speed up the process and that reasons of why such documents were requested to be prepared could be beyond the knowledge of officers such as Afidah and her superior, namely one Maliami Hamad.
“I understand their perception or impression towards the rush of such actions.
“However, I would never have compromised the integrity of the process,” he read from his statement.
Najib is testifying as the first witness in his defence of 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.
Najib’s defence trial will run from December 3 to 4, December 9 to 12 and December 16 to 19.
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