PUTRAJAYA: The testimony of a former chief executive officer of Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s then principal private secretary had asked to coordinate the transfer of RM42 million into the former premier’s bank account was hearsay and inadmissible, the Court of Appeal heard today.
The former premier’s counsel, Harvinderjit Singh, in his submission, said Ung Su Ling’s testimony was disputed as her September 2014 meeting with the late Datuk Azlin Alias (Najib’s former principal private secretary) and his so-called instructions were relied on as evidence in the prosecution’s case.
He said the alleged December 2014 and February 2015 instructions to Ung from Azlin were purportedly from WhatsApp messages which had not been produced and admitted to have been disposed of. Azlin died in a helicopter crash on April 4, 2015.
Harvinderjit pointed out that neither the primary document (a mobile phone) nor WhatsApp messages were produced.
“My lord, when Ung was cross-examined during the trial, Ung said she had deleted the messages and disposed of the phone as she wanted to ‘erase the painful memory’,“ he said when submitting before a three-member bench led by Justice Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, in the hearing of Najib’s appeal against his conviction and jail sentence for the misappropriation of RM42 million in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds.
Harvinderjit further said that the trial judge, Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali in his decision, had relied on Ung’s evidence of her conversation with Azlin to link Najib in the case.
“In summary, Ung’s explanations in context of her education, background and stature did not make any sense. She was no country bumpkin. She was a lawyer by training and had quite a number of years in the corporate field.
“She testified that she purportedly received instructions from Azlin through WhatsApp but had deleted it after she found out that Azlin had passed away on April 4, 2015. However, she thereafter admitted that by that date, she was aware of the controversy surrounding SRC.
The lawyer said, if indeed her instructions were from Azlin, she would have saved the messages to protect herself.
He added that her explanation that she deleted the messages and literally threw her phone away were dubious and on the whole, incredible.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court had on July 28, last year sentenced Najib to 12 years’ jail and RM210 million fine after finding him guilty on seven charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT), money laundering and abuse of position, involving RM42 million in SRC International funds.
The hearing of the appeal continues tomorrow. — Bernama