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Defence raises questions about former YR1M CEO's credibility and quizzes court to call Najib for defence

PUTRAJAYA (April 7): The defence for Datuk Seri Najib Razak today raised questions regarding the credibility of former Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) chief executive officer (CEO), Ung Su Ling (pictured), who had earlier claimed that the directions to transfer the disputed sum of RM42 million of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds came from the former premier's principal private secretary, the late Datuk Azlin Alias.

However, BlackBerry messages retrieved from former AmBank relationship manager, Joanna Yu Ging Ping, showed Ung had obtained the directive over the transfer from fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low.

Najib's lawyer Harvinderjit Singh further raised to the Court of Appeal bench that Ung's background of having worked together with Jho Low showed that there was something ulterior towards the motive in transferring the money.

To make her conduct questionable, the lawyer said Ung, who was the 49th prosecution witness, admitted that she deleted all her messages with Azlin a week after his death in a helicopter crash on April 4, 2015.

Harvinderjit said Ung, being a trained lawyer before entering the corporate world, would have kept the messages to back her claim.

"But what she said was that she deleted the messages and then threw her phone away," the lawyer said.

"The witness admitted when being cross-examined that being a lawyer she should have kept the purported messages with Azlin on the directive given. Her reply was that she had felt saddened over Azlin's passing and deleted his phone number and chat so as not to remind her."

Harvinderjit said it was as if Ung was shifting the blame to Azlin, a person who had already passed away over the transfer, when in fact it was not true.

He added when Yu's BBM message was retrieved, it showed that Ung had in fact received direction to transfer the money from Jho Low.

"We say that Ung is not a credible witness and that her testimony should not have been relied on by the High Court in calling Najib to enter into his defence."

Yesterday, Najib's defence also raised issues regarding former SRC director Datuk Suboh Md Yasin's testimony when he admitted that his signatures could have been forged in some of the 17 SRC documents shown to him by the defence as the witness admitted they could have been "cut and paste".

The defence further argued that based on Suboh's testimony alone in terms of contradiction, the former premier's defence should not have been called.

Judge asks why Jho Low transferred money

As Harvinderjit tried to show the transfer of money to the various accounts before ending with Najib's two accounts, the chairman of the bench, Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, questioned why Jho Low would enter SRC's RM27 million and RM5 million into Najib's accounts.

To this, the lawyer replied only Jho Low knows.

Another member of the bench, Justice Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera, further asked how come Jho Low was allowed to control SRC's funds when he does not hold any post, and to this the lawyer could not answer.

Justice Vazeer then asked further from the evidence there is inference that Jho Low had caused the SRC money to go out.

Vazeer: Are you saying that the money from SRC is used to top up Najib's accounts following the various overdrawn?

Harvinderjit: Yes. There are soft copy instruction letters and the inference is made that Jho Low gave the instruction to Terence Geh, another operative of Jho Low.

The prosecution's case, Harvinderjit said, is that Jho Low is an operative for Najib but the defence is saying that he (Jho Low) benefitted also from the transfer of money.

"Their (prosecution) case that they try to show because Najib had contacted Jho Low with regard to the use of his credit card, then the court and judge can make an inference that the former premier controlled him," he added.  

However, Harvinderjit said that Jho Low in fact is using all the people around him including Geh and Ung to do all these questionable transactions which he himself benefitted from.

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