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Najib charged with CBT, abuse of power involving SRC funds

  • Najib is charged at the Sessions Court with three counts of CBT and one count of abuse of power in connection with SRC International funds totalling RM42 million. Photo courtesy: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 (Bernama) -- Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was today charged in the Sessions Court with three counts of Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) and one count of abuse of power in connection with SRC International Sdn Bhd funds totalling RM42 million.

No plea was recorded from Najib, who appeared calm, after all the four charges were read out to him before judge Datuk Zainal Abidin Kamarudin, who allowed the cases to be transferred to the High Court.

Najib, 65, attired in a white shirt, dark blue suit and wearing a maroon tie, was brought into the courtroom at 9.15 am. He was not handcuffed.

The court sat at 9.20 am and adjourned 30 minutes later.

At the outset, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, who was assisted by a team of 11 deputy public prosecutors, requested for the proceedings to be conducted in English, and the court allowed his application.

Thomas then produced the certificate to prosecute under Section 58 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 (MACC) and for the charges to be read out to the accused.

After the first charge was read out, Najib's lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah went close to his client who was standing in the dock.

After the three CBT charges were read out to Najib and he nodded that he understood them, Thomas sought for the three cases to be transferred to the High Court in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code and asked that no plea be recorded from Najib.

Muhammad Shafee, however, argued that a plea should be taken in the Sessions Court and the High Court as well but the judge concurred with Thomas.

"Since the case will be transferred to the High Court, I prefer the plea to be recorded by the High Court judge," said Judge Zainal Abidin.

Najib also nodded after the fourth charge was read out to him and Thomas made a similar application for the case to be transferred to the High Court, and the judge again granted his request.

The courtroom was packed with lawyers, deputy public prosecutors, Najib's family members and reporters. Najib's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, was not present in court but his daughter Nooryana Najwa and son Datuk Mohd Nazifuddin were seen leaving the courthouse earlier.

The seats in the first and second rows in the courtroom were reserved for Najib's family and those in the third and fourth rows were allocated for the media. Only one reporter from each media organisation was allowed into the courtroom.

On the first charge, Najib was accused of, as a public servant and agent, namely the Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Malaysia, Advisor Emeritus of SRC International Sdn Bhd (SRC) and in those capacities entrusted with control of funds belonging to SRC International totalling RM4 billion, having committed CBT involving a sum of RM27 million.

He was accused of committing the offence at AmIslamic Bank Berhad, Ambank Group Building, No 55, Jalan Raja Chulan, here, between Dec 24, 2014, and Dec 29, 2014, and charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code which provides for a maximum jail term of up to 20 years and whipping and also a fine, if convicted.

On the second count, Najib was charged with, as the Prime Minister and Finance Minister with control over SRC funds totalling RM4 billion, having committed CBT involving RM5 million at the same place and during the same time frame.

On the third count, Najib was charged with, being the Prime Minister and Finance Minister entrusted with SRC-owned funds of RM4 billion, having committed CBT involving RM10 million at the same place between Feb 10, 2015, and March 2, 2015, according to the same section of the Penal Code.

On the fourth count, Najib was charged with, being a public official, namely the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Malaysia, having used his position to to commit bribery involving RM42 million when he participated or was involved in a decision on behalf of the Malaysian government to provide government guarantees for loans from the Retirement Fund Incorporated to SRC International amounting to RM4 billion.

He is accused of committing the bribery at the Prime Minister's Office, Precinct 1, Putrajaya, Federal Territory of Putrajaya, between Aug 17, 2011, and Feb 8, 2012.

The charge, framed under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 and punishable under Section 24 of the same Act, provides for a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount or value of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if convicted.

The 11 DPPs who assisted Thomas were Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria, Manoj Kurup, Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim, Datuk Umar Saifuddin Jaafar, Datuk Ishak Mohd Yusoff, Donald Joseph Franklin, Muhammad Saifuddin Hashim Musaimi, Budiman Lutfi Mohamed, Sulaiman Kho Kheng Fuei, Mohd Ashrof Adrin Kamarul and Muhammad Izzat Fauzan.

Muhammad Shafee was assisted by five lawyers, namely Harvinderjit Singh, Datuk Raj Krishnan, Farhan Read, Rahmat Hazlan and Muhammad Farhan Shafee.

 

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