SRC trial: Najib never disputed authenticity of signatures on bank documents during MACC questioning

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Datuk Seri Najib Razak makes a call during recess for his SRC International trial at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex August 19, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not deny or dispute the authenticity of bank documents bearing his signature when he was previously questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the High Court was told today. 

According to the prosecution’s 57th witness, MACC investigating officer Senior Assistant Commissioner Rosli Hussain, Najib had verified that it was indeed his signatures on account opening forms, mandate letters, and credit card cancellation applications when the related documents were presented to him during their investigations. 

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investigating officer Senior Assistant Commissioner Rosli Hussain is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court August 9, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

The final witness in Najib’s RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd corruption trial revealed how Najib was consistent in his position surrounding the authenticity of his signatures on all three times he was questioned by MACC investigators. 

“We the MACC took statements from Datuk Seri Najib for a total of three times; the first on December 5, 2015, the second on May 22, 2018, and the third on May 24, 2018. 

“All these (banking) documents were referred and shown to Datuk Seri Najib and he verified that the signatures were his, and there was no denying done by him,” said Rosli. 

Rosli was responding to Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim during his examination in chief in today’s trial proceedings. 

Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah makes a call at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex August 19, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

The remark triggered a response from Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who argued the testimony was based on hearsay and not a concrete fact. 

“What the witness has said is hearsay, unless they (the prosecution) are tendering the documents for us to go through the whole process (of verification),” said Shafee. 

To this, ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram replied that the appropriate submissions into the witness’s testimony would be done should the need arise. 

Datuk Suboh Md Yassin arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex on July 2, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

Previously, the prosecution’s 42nd witness, and former SRC International director, Datuk Suboh Md Yassin, during his cross examination had agreed with Shafee that there were irregularities with signatures on several company documents. 

This was after the witness was presented with comparisons of his and several other signatures, that was carried out using juxtapositions on transparencies in open court. 

During the early days of trial, AmBank Jalan Raja Chulan branch manager R. Uma Devi had testified how Najib did not take action and made no complaint from 2011 to 2015 despite irregularities in the signatures of signatories he appointed via authorisation letters to the bank.

AmBank Jalan Raja Chulan branch manager, R. Uma Devi, is seen at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex April 29, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

She had said that Najib also had not flagged activities linked to his three AmBank current accounts despite millions of ringgit flowing in and out of the accounts. 

Najib is currently on trial seven charges of alleged abuse of position, money-laundering and criminal breach of trust over RM42 million of funds from SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

During the course of the trial, witnesses have testified that Retirement Fund (Incorporated) granted a total of RM4 billion in loans in August 2011 and March 2012 to SRC International, with money allegedly flowing through other companies before being transferred into Najib’s accounts.

The trial resumes before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali tomorrow morning.

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