Najib denies stopping Husni’s Swiss bank visit in 2013 for fear of blowing cover-up

Kenneth Tee
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court December 11, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court December 11, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak denied today he had disallowed former Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah from going to Switzerland in 2013 for fear of his alleged cover-up being discovered by the latter.

Najib, on trial for allegedly siphoning RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd, was testifying in his own defence under questioning from Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas.

At that time, around RM3 billion belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd was frozen by the Swiss government over alleged money-laundering offences in 2013.

Najib then explained that he had done so because Husni's request was informal.

This prompted Thomas to suggest to Najib it was actually done to prevent Ahmad Husni from discovering the truth of what had happened to the funds and that Najib's cover up would have be blown.

Thomas: I put it to you do not want Husni to go because you are concerned he will discover that the money was stolen.

Najib: No, not true.

Najib also pointed out the existence of another delegation comprising SRC International board of directors that had visited the Swiss bank in September 2013 to confirm the money's safekeeping.

Previously SRC International board chairman Tan Sri Ismee Ismail testified that the entire SRC International board of directors visited the bank to seek confirmation if RM1.5 billion from the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) deposited there was kept safe and secure.

The money was part of the first tranche of RM2 billion loaned from KWAP in August 2011 to SRC International for the purposes of working capital and general investment.

On his alleged attempts to exclude Ahmad Husni from affairs surrounding the formation of 1MDB and by default its wholly-owned subsidiary SRC International, Najib said he had never attempted to do so.

Najib: [Husni] had always been involved in signing [government] guarantees and memoranda with SRC International.

Thomas: I am putting to you that those are the things you wanted him to do, you instructed him so.

Najib: I never. That is not true.

Thomas: You did not want him to find out what happened to the money.

Najib: I disagree.

Previously Ahmad Husni testified that he met with Najib and sought the latter’s permission to bring a delegation comprised of the Finance Ministry, Bank Negara Malaysia and KWAP to clarify the matter with the Swiss authorities.

SRC International previously obtained two loans totalling RM4 billion from KWAP in 2011 and 2012 — the first RM2 billion when it was a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) subsidiary while the second RM2 billion was after the company’s ownership was transferred to the Finance Ministry’s Minister of Finance Incorporated (MoF Inc).

Najib has been called to enter his defence to answer seven charges related to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Three are for criminal breach of trust over a total RM42 million of SRC International funds while entrusted with its control as the prime minister and finance minister then, three more are for laundering the RM42 million, and the last is for abusing the same positions for self-gratification of the same sum.

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