KUALA LUMPUR — Jan. 22, 2020: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today admitted to spending millions credited into his bank accounts between 2014 and 2015 but claims not to know that the money came from SRC International.
Instead, he thought the money was from a corporate social responsibility budget and acknowledged that he spent RM27 million in July 2014 and another RM5 million in September.
Najib replied to prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram he only knew later that the money belonged to SRC International. Najib was making his defence on charges of misappropriating RM42 million from SRC International.
In reply to another question, Najib said he did not find it shocking that former SRC International CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil had not told him about the RM32 million that was transferred into his account as Nik Faisal was managing it.
Najib maintained that he was not so stupid to keep Nik Faisal as CEO just because the latter facilitated money movements into his personal bank accounts.
In response Sithambaram remarked that he had seen many so-called very intelligent people ending up in court in his 42 years experience as a lawyer.
According to Najib, it was only after he was alerted by former SRC International chairman Tan Sri Ismee Ismail about Nik Faisal’s integrity in managing the company that he removed Nik Faisal in 2014.
But despite Nik Faisal’s lack of integrity, Najib maintained Nik Faisal as the mandate holder of his accounts and also as an SRC board member apparently to facilitate the repatriation of SRC money frozen in Switzerland as he wanted “continuity”.
Sithambaram suggested that Najib knew what was going on as the bank statements were delivered to his house in Langgak Duta.
The trial before Justice Mohd. Nazlan Mohd. Ghazali continues.