KUALA LUMPUR: Apart from the biggest one day online sale on 11.11, all eyes will also be on former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak (pix), whose fate will be determined on the same day with the High Court having set the date to deliver its verdict on his case for alleged misappropriation of RM42 million in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds.
Najib, 66, served as Malaysia’s sixth prime minister from April 2009 to May 2018, and is the country’s first premier to find himself in the dock of a court.
Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali is scheduled to pronounce the verdict at 10am, on whether to order Najib to enter his defence or walk free on three charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT), one count of abusing his position and three counts of money laundering of SRC funds.
If Najib is ordered to enter his defence, he will have to answer the charges against him.
The Pekan MP will have three options to make his defence.
They are by sworn evidence from the witness box, where he will be subjected to cross-examination by the prosecution; through unsworn statement from the dock; or to remain silent.
However, testifying from the witness stand will be given more weight by the court compared to the other two options, and if he chooses to remain silent, the court has no other choice, but to convict him.
Justice Mohd Nazlan had previously fixed Dec 3 to 4, Dec 9 until 12, and Dec 16 to 19 for Najib to enter his defence if the court were to find that the prosecution has established a prima facie case against him.
On Oct 22 and 23, the court heard lengthy submissions from the prosecution and defence teams. The prosecution had on Aug 27, closed its case after 58 days of trial with 57 witnesses called to testify.
The prosecution team, led by Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, also includes ad-hoc deputy public prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram, while prominent lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah led the defence team.
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 first brought to the Sessions Court here on July 4, 2018 where he was charged with three counts of CBT and one count of power abuse.
On Aug 8, he was brought to the Sessions Court again and charged with three counts of money laundering, involving the same money. The cases were later transferred to the High Court with the charges consolidated in one trial.
Thus, he was charged with committing seven offences between Aug 17, 2011 and Feb 10, 2015.
With regard to the CBT charges, Najib, as a public servant and agent, namely Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Malaysia, and Advisor Emeritus of SRC International Sdn Bhd (SRC), allegedly misappropriated RM27 million and RM5 million respectively of RM4 billion belonging to SRC.
He was charged with committing the two offences at AmIslamic Bank Berhad, Ambank Group Building, No 55, Jalan Raja Chulan here, between Dec 24, 2014, and Dec 29, 2014.
On the third count, Najib allegedly misappropriated RM10 million of RM4 billion belonging to SRC at the same place between Feb 10, 2015, and March 2, 2015.
The three charges are framed under Section 409 of the Penal Code which provides imprisonment for up to 20 years, with whipping and liability to fine upon conviction.
On the charge of abusing his position, Najib as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Malaysia, allegedly used his position to commit bribery involving RM42 million through his involvement in the decision to provide government guarantees for loans from the Retirement Fund Incorporated to SRC International amounting to RM4 billion.
He was charged with committing the offence at the Prime Minister’s Office, Precinct 1, Putrajaya, Federal Territory of Putrajaya, between Aug 17, 2011 and Feb 8, 2012.
The charge, under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 and punishable under Section 24 of the same Act, provides an imprisonment for 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, upon conviction.
On the three money laundering charges, Najib is alleged to have received RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million,respectively, of proceeds from unlawful activities, via Real Time Electronic Transfer of Funds and Securities (Rentas) into his two AmIslamic Bank Berhad accounts, bearing the numbers 2112022011880 and 2112022011906.
The offences were allegedly committed at AmIslamic Bank Berhad, AmBank Group Building, No. 55, Jalan Raja Chulan here, between Dec 26, 2014, and Feb 10, 2015,.
The charges were framed under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFPUAA) 2001.
If convicted, the ex-premier faces up to 15 years imprisonment and a fine of up to five times the sum or value of the illicit proceeds or RM5 million, whichever is higher, on each count. — Bernama