KUALA LUMPUR: The 50th prosecution witness in Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s (pix) trial told the High Court here today that he did not receive any letter from the former prime minister stating his desire to return the US$620 million (RM2.55 billion) deposited into his account to its sender in 2013.
Former Group Managing Director of Ambank Cheah Tek Kuang, 72, said in fact, the letter was never brought to his attention.
The septuagenarian said so under cross–examination by counsel Harvinderjit Singh on the 40th day of the former premier’s trial in relation to the misappropriation of RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd’s funds.
Harvinderjit: In 2013, you were told that the account holder (Najib) wanted to return the money from account 694 to the sender. In a letter by Najib, which was cc’d to you, he mentioned that US$620 million is to be remitted in a single transfer out of the Ambank account, which represents the unused donation, to be returned to the beneficiary which will be listed later.
Cheah: Actually, I did not receive the letter.
“I knew Najib wanted to return the donation amounting to US$620 million to its sender in 2013 ... I knew this matter through Ambank Relationship Manager Joanna Yu who contacted me for assistance to get quick approval from the central bank,“ said Cheah.
Harvinderjit: So the letter dated March 2013 was given to you by Joanna as a supporting document for the 694 account?
Cheah: I didn’t do anything. Because at that time, I was no more in the executive position ... so, she probably had approached someone else.
Harvinderjit: I suggest it to you that you have read the letter? Cheah replied “I disagree.”
Harvinderjit: With regards to communication between Joanna and the account holder, your assumption was that she spoke with Najib directly? Cheah replied “yes.”
Harvinderjit: I’m suggesting to you that she (Joanna) talked to Jho Low, not Najib? Cheah replied “I don’t know.”
Harvinderjit: In 2011 and 2012, a substantial amount of money came into the account and Joanna came to you and justified that the money received was a gift from Saudi Arabia?
Cheah replied, “yes.”
During the re–examination by Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim, the witness said he was with Najib when the former prime minister signed all three account opening forms at his home on Jalan Langgak Duta.
Najib, 66, is facing three counts of criminal breach of trust, one count of abusing his position and three counts of money laundering involving SRC International Sdn Bhd funds amounting to RM42 million.
The hearing before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues. — Bernama