KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 9): Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak testified in court today that it was his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, and not him who had purchased RM3.3 million worth of de Grisogono jewellery which were charged to Najib's AmBank credit card.
Najib had previously testified that the gift was purchased for the wife of Qatar's ex-prime minister Sheikh Hamad Jassim Jaber Al Thani.
Najib is alleged to have purchased the jewellery during his and Rosmah's trip to Italy on Aug 8, 2014.
However, during the course of his cross-examination today, carried out by prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram, Najib recalled the purchase, but said he did not know much about it as Rosmah had made the purchase in question.
"I paid for it with my card, but I asked my wife to choose," he told the court.
Sithambaram then replied in jest to giggles in the courtroom: "Yes sir, women would know women better."
This came to light when Sithambaram asked Najib about the nature of the purchase and how many pieces of jewellery were actually purchased.
Najib claimed that the RM3.3 million purchase was "a single piece of jewellery"; however, Sithambaram revealed that the former premier's bank statements had listed the purchase of 10 items from De Grisogono on that date.
After studying the statements for a while, Najib then told the court that it looked like she had purchased a set of jewellery.
"Looks like it was a set. I have to check with my wife, she did the purchase," says Najib.
Sithambaram grills Najib about the gift, and puts it to the accused that it was not a gift for the wife of the Qatar prime minister, to which Najib denied.
It was previously brought by the defence that a letter dated Aug 15, 2014 from Sheikh Hamad's wife Noor Abdulaziz Abdulla Turki Al-Subaie was to thank Najib and Rosmah for the purchase.
However, Sithambaram had disputed the letter today and also questioned the purpose of the purchase.
Sithambaram: I'm putting it to you that there was no gift of this sum to the wife of the PM of Qatar. You agree or disagree?
Najib: I disagree.
Sithambaram: I'm putting it to you that this letter was produced after the event to explain the purchases.
Najib: I disagree.
Other expenditures 'insignificant'
Najib had also testified that his other purchases on his credit card which include over RM200,000 spent at the Shangri-la Bangkok, Westin Excelsior in Rome and St Regis in Bali, among others, were insignificant amounts.
Sithambaram had pointed out that Najib had previously testified that the only charge to this particular credit card was the purchase of a RM466,330.11 Chanel watch for his wife, Rosmah.
Sithambaram suggested that this was untrue and that he had used the card for the other expenditures.
Sithambaram: I'm putting it to you that there have been many other personal purchases and expenses made from the same credit card.
Najib: I agree, but they were much smaller.
I have to qualify that. The rest of the purchases were considered as not significant or less significant.
Sithambaram: Compared to the Arab donation, you mean? These would be considered significant amounts for other people.
Najib faces seven charges in relation to misappropriating RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
The Edge is reporting the proceedings of the SRC trial live.
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