KUALA LUMPUR: Former Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah told the High Court here today that Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak had refused to allow a government delegation to go to Switzerland to clarify on the money that was frozen by the Swiss government.
The 56th prosecution witness said he was informed that an investment fund belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd (SRC) in a bank in Switzerland had been frozen by the Swiss government for money laundering.
“I then went to meet with Datuk Seri Najib and sought his permission to bring a delegation from the Finance Ministry, Bank Negara and Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) to bring the documents to prove that the money was a loan from KWAP.
“However, the honourable prime minister did not give his consent for me to do so,“ he said when reading out his witness statement in the former premier’s trial in relation to the misappropriation of RM42 million of SRC funds.
Ahmad Husni was referred to a document, ‘Letter of Guarantee Issued by the Government of Malaysia in Favour of Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan)”, dated Aug 26, 2011.
“I confirm that this is the government guarantee letter that I signed, as per a cabinet decision that approved the Cabinet Memorandum tabled by Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop,“ he said.
Ahmad Husni, 67, said the Cabinet Memorandum tabled by Nor Mohamed was approved and permission was granted to issue the guarantee letter, which was then prepared by an officer at the Ministry of Finance (MOF) for him to sign in his capacity as Finance Minister II.
“I learned from MKD (Minister of Finance Incorporated) officers that RM4 billion, which is the total loans from KWAP, were used for coal investment in Java, natural resources investments in Mongolia and in bank savings in Switzerland and Hong Kong.
“At that time, I was not consulted and was not given any document regarding the SRC and the investments, (not) even through my officer who had requested (for the documents) from SRC.
“I asked Dr Isa (Datuk Seri Dr Mohmad Isa Hussain), who was then secretary of the Investment Division (at the Finance Ministry) to go to Java to confirm the coal investment, but he did not go,“ he added.
Ahmad Husni said he first learned about the SRC’s application for RM2 billion loan from KWAP and the loan to be guaranteed by the Malaysian government when Nor Mohamed tabled the Cabinet Memorandum on the matter at a cabinet meeting.
Thereafter, he said, he went to see Najib to raise on the purpose of giving such a huge loan to SRC, a subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
According to Datuk Seri Najib, only with government’s involvement in coal mining would empower the industry, he added.
Ahmad Husni said he was appointed as Second Finance Minister in 2009 and stepped down from the post on June 27, 2016.
When asked by deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Izzat Fauzan whether he could identify Najib, Ahmad Husni said he could if the person was in court.
He turned turned towards the dock where Najib was seated and said “Haaa, there he is, (sitting) at the back, who is always smiling”, which drew laughter from everybody in the court.
The hearing before judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues on Thursday. — Bernama