Najib to testify at trial of former 1MDB unit SRC International on Tuesday

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (centre) arrives for his trial at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 18, 2019.
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (centre) arrives for his trial at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 18, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will be telling his side of the story when he takes the stand as a witness on Tuesday (Dec 3) at a trial related to the scandal surrounding 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Najib is accused of misappropriating RM 42 million (S$13.8 million) of funds from SRC International, a former 1MDB unit.

His lawyer Harvinderjit Singh confirmed that Najib would be the defence's first witness as the defence trial unravels on Tuesday.

This marks the first time a former premier is taking the stand in the court of law.

On Nov 11, Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali ordered the 66-year-old Pekan Member of Parliament to enter his defence after ruling that the prosecution had proven a prima facie case against him.

Najib had chosen to give sworn evidence in his defence trial.

This would mean that Najib is subjected to cross-examination by the prosecution.

The prosecution trial lasted 58 days with 57 witnesses called to the stand.

During the trial, the prosecution tendered more than 750 exhibits, including bank documents relating to Najib's bank accounts, cash transactions, minutes of meetings and Blackberry Messenger chats over Najib's transactions.

 
 
 
 

Najib was accused of using his positions as the prime minister and the finance minister to receive a RM42 million gratification when he took part in the government's decision in providing a guarantee for a loan of RM4 billion from the Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) to SRC.

He allegedly committed the offence at the Prime Minister's Office in Putrajaya between Aug 17,2011 and Feb 8,2012.

He was charged under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) 2009 which provides for imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of up to five times the sum or value of the bribe, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

Najib was also slapped with three counts of criminal breach of trust under Section 409 of the Penal Code.

According to the charge sheets, as the prime minister, finance minister and the Advisor Emeritus of SRC, Najib was entrusted with SRC's monies amounting to RM 4 billion, and he allegedly misappropriated RM 27 million and RM 5 million in two transactions between Dec 24 and Dec 29,2014.

In the third charge, he was accused of misappropriating RM 10 million between Feb 10 and March 2,2015 from the same RM4 bil lion entrusted to him.

All of the offences were allegedly committed at AmIslamic Bank Berhad located at Bangunan Ambank Group in Kuala Lumpur.

The charges under Section 409 of the Penal Code are punishable by up to 20 years in prison, whipping and a fine, if convicted.