SRC Trial: Najib’s lawyers begin oral submissions by questioning veracity of prosecution’s evidence

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court January 9, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Lawyers of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today in their oral submissions argued over the admissibility of evidence adduced by the prosecution concerning his RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd corruption trial, with the crux of their reasoning banked on inconsistencies within witness’ testimonies.

Defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh pointed out how funds that ended up within the bank accounts of Najib were transacted without his knowledge, arguing the absence of mens rea, or the intention or knowledge of an offence being committed by the former prime minister.

He claimed that the prosecution’s dependence on evidence, which according to him, is based on the presumption of knowledge, does not satisfy the ingredients to warrant a conviction for his client and in turn should be able to assist the court in acquitting Najib.

“The prosecution has shaped their case to bank on the most minute detail and the exploitation of selected admissions from cross-examination; they seem to take one fact and made a whole mountain out of it.

“Why ask Datuk Seri Najib something a witness did not agree to? It seems as though they are just trying to whack the case in hoping for it to get in,” he said during his oral submission.

Also among the topics touched on today by Harvinderjit was his argument that an affidavit by Najib in 2016 over a civil suit involving former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik did not equate to an admission of guilt.


Defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh pointed out how funds that ended up within the bank accounts of Datuk Seri Najib were transacted without his knowledge, arguing the absence of mens rea, or the intention or knowledge of an offence being committed by the former prime minister. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

This was in reference to Najib’s affidavit submitted in court during the civil case then, where he had affirmed that RM42 million that ended in bank accounts registered under his name had originated from SRC International.

“You cannot be using an affidavit from 2016 to say that it is an admission of guilt for something that happened in 2014.

“The contents of the affidavit in the suit against Tun Dr Ling is therefore is not an admission of guilt,” he told the court.

Earlier today, Harvinderjit had argued that the Najib allegedly spending the RM42 million said to be from SRC International did not amount to a criminal breach of trust, arguing that the money was misappropriated by third parties, point the finger at former SRC chief executive Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and fugitive financier Low Taek Jho or Jho Low instead.

The High Court has fixed three days from June 1 until June 3 to hear the oral submissions by both defence and prosecution, after the defence closed its case on March 11.

Najib is facing seven charges; including three counts of 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, and a separate charge under an anti-corruption law of abusing the same positions for self-gratification of the same RM42 million sum.

The remaining three of the seven charges are for allegedly money-laundering the same total sum of RM42 million.


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