KUALA LUMPUR (July 29): Datuk Seri Najib Razak's affirmed affidavit from another trial showed that the former premier knew that the RM42 million in his AmBank accounts came from SRC International Sdn Bhd as early as February 2016, contradicting his defence that he did not know the money came from the former 1Malaysia Development Bhd unit.
This contradiction was shown by the 55th prosecution witness Ranjit Singh, who represented Tan Sri Dr Ling Liong Sik in a defamation suit filed by Najib against the former Transport Minister.
Dr Ling, formerly MCA president, had made a statement in 2015 that was subsequently reported by various media, calling Najib a thief for putting the people's money into his account, which led to the latter filing a defamation suit against him later that year.
On July 18, High Court senior assistant registrar S. Mageswary had testified in the trial that she kept the documents regarding the suit for the court's safe-keeping and produced them as evidence in the trial.
When questioned by lawyer and appointed prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram today, Ranjit said his client had asked why the suit was filed against him when current Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had called Najib much nastier things than what the former MCA president had said.
The witness referred to Najib's suit, Dr Ling's defence and counter-claim, and also Najib's application to strike out certain portions of Dr Ling's defence and counter-claim, followed by Dr Ling's reply and the former premier's response in the form of affidavit.
Ranjit referred to all these documents to show that the former premier knew three years ago that the RM42 million was from SRC.
The lawyer referred to Najib's affidavit in reply dated Feb 23, 2016, where the former premier admitted that US$700 million had entered his account and said it was a donation, while RM42 million, which originated from SRC, had entered into his account without him knowing it was channelled through two intermediaries, namely Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd.
Subsequently following Barisan Nasional and Umno's loss in the 14th general election, during the scheduled hearing of the striking out application, Najib withdrew his suit and agreed to pay costs of RM25,000 to Dr Ling, said Ranjit.
The lawyer also said the court, through Justice Darryl Goon, recorded the withdrawal of the suit without liberty to file afresh, and consequently Dr Ling also agreed to withdraw the suit on the same terms.
Senior lawyer and Najib's lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told the court that the entirety of Ranjit's testimony was irrelevant and that the defence would not make a submission on the evidence given during the end of the prosecution's case but may raise this matter up when defence is called.
Sithambaram told Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali that the prosecution disagreed with the defence and would make the relevancy of Ranjit's testimony at the end of the prosecution stage.
Despite saying this, co-counsel Harvinderjit Singh questioned Ranjit over the suit and Dr Ling's counsel replied that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission had not taken his statement, and that he was informed of the possibility being called by the prosecution three weeks ago by Sithambaram.