Witness rejects defence's claim that Najib was duped

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 23): Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer and Senior Assistant Commissioner Rosli Hussain dismissed claims that runaway businessman Low Taek Jho was solely responsible for the embezzlement activities in SRC International Sdn Bhd.

In his cross-examination session yesterday, defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh suggested that the fugitive financier, better known as Jho Low, was the one responsible for the misappropriation of funds from the former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) unit, but Rosli disagreed.

Rosli also rejected the proposition that Jho Low directed SRC’s former chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil to sign documents related to the company.

Harvinderjit then posited that Jho Low controlled Putra Perdana Construction Sdn Bhd’s accounts through its Jerome Lee — Jho Low’s associate and former group CEO of its parent company Putrajaya Perdana Bhd — which the witness disputed too.

Rosli also disagreed that it was Jho Low who had tried to get the money in former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s (pictured) AmBank account ending 880 — which received RM37 million from SRC in 2014 — and that the financier was responsible for withdrawing money through Terence Geh, an associate of his who once sat on 1MDB’s board.

He further disputed the assertion that Jho Low was responsible for all the wrongdoing in SRC.

“You (Rosli) did not investigate this,” Harvinderjit suggested, but the witness disagreed as well.

Rosli then continued to reject claims that Najib had been duped in the SRC scandal, and that Jho Low was responsible for the transfer of funds from SRC and into Gandingan Mentari and Najib’s accounts through former Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia CEO Ung Su Ling.

Earlier, Rosli agreed that the disputed minutes of Nik Faisal and Najib’s meeting were not shown to the former premier when he was interrogated.

Rosli said there is no record of whether the minutes of the duo’s meeting on Sept 7, 2011 were the originals or otherwise, but he denied the minutes were forged.

The defence had been challenging the authenticity of the minutes of Nik Faisal’s meeting with Najib ever since they were produced by former SRC chairman Tan Sri Ismee Ismail.

The meeting that Nik Faisal had with Najib concerned the utilisation of the first RM2 billion loan from Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP).

The meeting minutes had allegedly detailed Najib’s instructions that RM1.8 billion out of the first loan should be sent abroad.

Rosli said he took Ismee’s statement last year, and prior to their meeting, the latter did not provide any documents.

Harvinderjit also asked Rosli whether it was true that although the MACC had taken a sample of Najib’s signature, the graft-buster did not enquire further with the chemistry department if the former premier’s signature could have been forged, to which the witness said yes.

Rosli also agreed that none of the people he interviewed claimed that they saw with their own eyes Najib signing the bank documents himself.

However, the witness slammed claims that the MACC forbade the banks involved in SRC’s transactions from providing documents to the defence.

“We said they (banks) should refer to us first before sharing the documents; we were not stopping them,” he said.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Aug 23, 2019.

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