SRC trial: Najib says Apandi did nothing wrong in absolving him of 1MDB, SRC wrongdoings

Kenneth Tee
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on January 23, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on January 23, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak today said former attorney general (AG) Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali did nothing wrong in absolving him of all wrongdoings related to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and its former subsidiary unit SRC International Sdn Bhd back in January 2016.

The former prime minister is charged with siphoning RM42 million from SRC International and was testifying in his own defence under cross-examination from ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram at the High Court today.

At a press conference in January 2016, Mohamed Apandi had said the RM2.6 billion ($681 million) Arab donations and RM42 million transferred into Najib’s personal bank accounts was a gift from the Saudi royal family and there were no criminal offences or corruption involved.

Mohamed Apandi also said no charges will be brought against Najib based on the investigations carried out by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) then.

Sithambaram: I am putting it to you that you have, despite the statement by then AG, you have abused your position as prime minister, finance minister by taking part in the decision of the government to provide the two government guarantees to SRC International in the Cabinet decision.

Najib: I disagree, totally.

Sithambaram: I am also putting it to you that from the bank statements and all the evidence, there is clear evidence RM42 million from SRC International had gone into your accounts with your knowledge.

Najib: I disagree.

Sithambaram: I am putting it to you that evidence shown in this trial so far shows the decision of the then AG is clearly wrong.

Najib: I disagree.

The RM42 million SRC International fund transfers into Najib’s bank accounts were first disclosed by the US daily Wall Street Journal and whistleblower website Sarawak Report in July 2015 based on leaked documents from Malaysian investigators.

Almost a month later, Mohamed Apandi’s predecessor Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail who had been heading a multi-agency special task force investigating the 1MDB scandal, was removed abruptly on health reasons.

Najib also sacked his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and another Cabinet minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal from the Cabinet for the duo’s public criticism over the 1MDB scandal.

When asked by Sithambaram whether Najib planned to call up Mohamed Apandi as a defence witness to corroborate the latter’s statement which had been tendered as evidence, Najib said the matter was still being considered.

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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