Najib’s defence team ‘scored own goal’ with BBM chats, appeal court hears

21-Apr-2021 Intellasia | Malaysiakini | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Najib Abdul Razak’s defence team “scored their own goal” in admitting as evidence the BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) chats linked to the RM42 million SRC International corruption case, the Court of Appeal heard today.

Deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram submitted this in relation to the former prime minister’s legal team succeeding in tendering as evidence the BBM chat transcripts between 1MDB-linked fugitive Low Taek Jho and former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu.

Previously, during the Kuala Lumpur High Court RM42 million SRC criminal trial against Najib, his legal team had applied to tender as evidence the BBM chats, to bolster his defence against seven charges of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust (CBT) and money laundering.

The DPP’s submission is in counter against Najib’s appeal to quash his conviction and sentencing over the RM42 million SRC graft case.

In his submission, Sithambaram said the BBM chats between Low and Yu strengthened the prosecution’s case against the former prime minister.

Yu, who used to manage Najib’s bank accounts, had testified for the prosecution in the SRC criminal trial.

The DPP also pointed out that the BBM chats showed conversations between Low and Yu, which indicated that the fugitive had received instructions from Najib, and also in regard to when cheques would be issued by then premier, among others.

“The numerous BBM chats between Yu and Low support the proof of actual knowledge on the part of the appellant regarding the status and transactions involving his personal accounts.

“They (defence) alleged (the prosecution of) changing goalposts, but here (BBM chats), they scored their own goal,” Sithambaram submitted before the three-person Court of Appeal bench chaired by judge Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil.

During the SRC criminal trial, Najib’s legal team had relied on the defence that the former prime minister had no knowledge that the RM42 million deposited into his accounts were from SRC.

On July 28 last year, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur convicted Najib on one count of abuse of power, three counts of CBT and three counts of money laundering in relation to RM42 million of funds from SRC

Trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali then sentenced Najib to 12 years in jail and a fine of RM210 million.

The lower court allowed the defence team’s application for a stay of the sentence pending the disposal of his appeal.

SRC, which was once a subsidiary of troubled sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, later became fully owned by the minister of Finance Incorporated.

Besides being former prime minister, Najib also used to be finance minister, SRC’s adviser emeritus, and chairperson of 1MDB’s board of advisers.


Category: Malaysia

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