Nearly RM4b investment of SRC funds a ‘sham’, Court of Appeal hears

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

The investment of nearly RM4 billion of funds from SRC International was a sham, the Court of Appeal heard today.

Deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram made this assertion during the hearing of Najib Abdul Razak’s appeal to quash the former premier’s conviction and sentencing in the RM42 million SRC corruption case.

The DPP was referring to the purported investment of nearly the whole amount of RM4 billion in loans from the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) to SRC.

It was previously reported that around RM3.6 billion was sent out of SRC to a financial institution in Switzerland for a fixed deposit, which ended up being frozen by the Swiss authorities.

It was also reported that the remainder were purportedly invested in Indonesia and Mongolia.

Sithambaram remarked that Najib had testified during the High Court criminal trial that nothing came about with the purported investment of government funds.

The DPP contended this amounted to a sham defence put up by Najib’s legal team as nothing further was done or happened with the funds, following the RM4 billion in loans granted by KWAP to SRC between late 2011 and early 2012.

“This whole thing (investment of almost RM4 billion) is a sham. Nothing happened (with the investment). Money goes out, but nobody (at SRC or Najib among others) seem to know anything,” Sithambaram said.

Among the seven charges that Najib was convicted of was for abuse of power, whereby the former premier was alleged to have committed the offence when he chaired the two cabinet meetings that greenlighted government guarantees for the RM4 billion loans.

The abuse of power charge, under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009, accused Najib of ensuring the cabinet passing of the government guarantees for the loans in return for receiving of purported gratification of RM42 million.

Sithambaram further clarified that the setting up of SRC itself was not a sham, but that the sham was the outflow of the nearly RM4 billion from SRC and what it was allegedly invested into.

The DPP was responding to a query for clarification from Court of Appeal judge Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, who chaired the three-person bench.

Karim: You are saying that it (purported investment of nearly RM4 billion) is to camouflage real (criminal) intention?

Sithambaram: Yes, my lord.

“If they (investment of the nearly RM4 billion) did it well for Malaysia, I would be proud for them, as there would not be power failure in Malaysia,” Sithambaram further remarked tongue-in-cheek, eliciting chuckles from others present in court. SRC was involved in renewable energy resources.

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

Besides being the former premier, Najib was also finance minister, adviser emeritus to SRC, and chairperson of 1MDB’s board of advisers.

The hearing is ongoing and expected to resume until this afternoon. The other bench members were judges Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera and Has Zanah Mehat.

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

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

However, the lower court allowed the defence team’s application to stay the sentence’s execution pending the disposal of his appeal.


Category: Malaysia

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