PUTRAJAYA: Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram today told the Court of Appeal that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s act in returning a portion of ‘Arab donation’ to an alleged sender without any explanation or a thank-you letter shows that the so-called Arab donation was a scam.
He said that if the donation was from the late King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Saud why should it be returned to a company called Tanore Finance Corp.
“The King never asked for the money back. In fact, the appellant (Najib) said the money was donated by the Saudi King to ensure Malaysia can become the model of a stable and modern Islamic country.
“It is absolutely bizarre for Najib to return a contribution of RM2.6 billion (US$620 million) from the King to a company.
“This was a desperate attempt to bolster the defence case. Najib, in his evidence, testified that it was fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho who asked him to remit the money to Tanore,” he said.
Sithambaram said Najib had testified that there would be political connotation if the money remained in his personal accounts in Ambank.
“My Lord, there was no evidence that the King gave this money. It’s a desperate defence.
“If I gave you a donation and you sent it back, I will take it as an insult because I give you the donation for a good cause.
“(You said it was returned) But the money was transferred to Tanore. I don’t know what the King has to do with the company,” he added that even the Cabinet did not know about the donation.
Sithambaram added that close scrutiny of Najib’s evidence showed that there were doubts if the purported meeting with the King had actually taken place and whether the monarch promised him financial support.
“Najib merely stated that the King had promised support but explained he was only informed by Low in the middle of 2010 that the monarch had agreed to provide financial support,” he said.
Sithambaram submitted this before a three-member bench led by Judge Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil in the hearing of Najib’s appeal against his conviction and jail sentence for misappropriation of RM42 million in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds.
The other two judges on the bench were Datuk Has Zanah Mehat and Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court had on July 28 last year sentenced Najib to 12 years’ jail and a RM210mil fine after finding him guilty on seven charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of position, involving RM42 million in SRC International funds.
The hearing of the appeal continues.- Bernama