KUALA LUMPUR — July 23, 2019: The High Court here today allowed an application by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for access to information and documents of his AmBank accounts to prepare for defence.
In deciding so judge Mohd. Nazlan Mohd. Ghazali ruled that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission should not prevent the bank from doing so for Najib to have a fair trial.
In any event, as an account holder Najib was entitled to the information and documents but the agency is also not prevented from pursuing its investigations and is entitled to seize documents and information as authorised under the MACC Act.
Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had submitted that MACC had no power under the law to prevent his client from accessing documents related to his own bank accounts.
“The originals are already with the commission, there is no danger of the documents being manipulated or destroyed,” he said.
However, ad-hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram countered that the MACC was empowered to issue directions to AmBank as the matter was under investigation.
“The matter is academic since the bank had already shared the documents with Najib with the approval of MACC,” he argued, adding that there was no denial of fair trial in the circumstances.
On July 11, Shafee said Najib was not allowed to obtain documents pertaining to his accounts.
The defence had asked for the documents from the bank for the purpose of preparing Najib’s defence and that the bank through a letter had stated that any party who requested for documents had to liaise with the MACC first.
Also during today’s morning session, the bank’s relationship manager who handled Najib’s accounts was asked to leave in 2015 due to the mounting pressure involving the 1Malaysia Development Berhad case.
Joanna Yu left about the same time the bank was fined by Bank Negara for non-compliance.
In reply to Najib’s lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, Yu said a colleague, Daniel Lee, also left but Crystal Yap stayed for a while.
“At that time the team was much bigger. Both Lee and Yap handled the SRC International accounts,” she said. Between the three of them Yu was the most senior.
Najib, 66, is facing several charges pertaining to RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn. Bhd. — Bernama