KUALA LUMPUR – July 28, 2020: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been found guilty of seven charges involving abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering relating to RM42 million belongin to SRC International Sdn. Bhd.
SRC International was a subsidiary of sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
In delivering his verdict High Court judge Mohd. Nazlan Mohd. Ghazali ruled that Najib had committed the crimes as he had failed to act accordingly concerning the rushed approval of a RM2 billion loan from Retirement Fund Incorporated – which he was in charge of – to SRC.
Nazlan alluded to the fact that Najib had denied a request by the then-second finance minister and prosecution witness Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah to recover SRC money in Switzerland.
“The accused said the matter had to be dealt in a government-to-government manner but evidence showed that as prime minister the accused never initiated the matter,” Nazlan remarked.
Nazlan also ruled against Najib’s defence that the RM42 million in his personal account was a political donation from the Saudi royal family.
“Regardless of [which] segment of the Arab royalty [was involved] and the accused’s confidence in (fugitive businessman) Jho Low, the accused’s failure to confirm the [veracity of the] donation from King Abdullah made the defence argument improbable,” he said.
Nazlan considered the letters claiming that Najib was to receive a donation from the Saudi family as defective.
Although King Abdullah met the accused in Riyadh, the judge ruled that there was no evidence that the king had stated any intention to provide financial assistance to Najib or Malaysia
“It was only later that Jho Low informed the accused of King Abdullah’s wish to donate. [This was] not consistent with what King Abdullah told (the accused) in Riyadh,” Nazlan pointed out.
Nazlan also disagreed with the defence’s argument that Najib was, basically, conned by Jho Low, saying that it was too far-fetched to claim so as the latter fully understood his role and that there was no doubt he was dealing with Najib’s bank accounts.
Najib is facing another 35 corruption charges relating to 1MDB.