KUALA LUMPUR – Many Malaysians failed to notice a crucial evidential twist last week in the on-going corruption trial of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
One can’t blame the public though for that vital testimony by a key prosecution witness, was either concealed or not given any prominence by most mainstream, electronic and cyber media.
But then it’s hardly surprising given most media organisations in the country today are competing against each other to become the top pro-Pakatan Harapan mouthpiece anyway.
AmBank Raja Chulan branch manager R Umma Devi testified last week that there were obvious irregularities with the signatures on several letters of transfer instruction pertaining to transactions of money involving SRC International accounts in AmBank.
Umma Devi told the court that signatures on several transfer letter worth millions of ringgit did not match.
The 21st witness testified that then SRC International Sdn Bhd CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil had issued a letter of transfer instruction dated June 23, 2014, to transfer RM3 million from Najib’s account no. 211-202-201188-0.
Another similar letter dated July 8, 2014, was issued by Nik Faizal to transfer RM20 milion from the same account.
In the July letter, Nik Faizal had also instructed AmBank to transfer RM10 million of the RM20 million into Najib’s AmBank account no. 211-202-2011898
In another letter dated August 21, 2014, Nik Faisal instructed a transfer of RM10 million from Najib’s account no. 211-202-2011898.
Nik Faisal was then appointed by Najib as an authorised personnel to manage his three bank accounts in AmBank.
During the examination-in-chief, Umma Devi identified a letter dated March 3, 2015, from Nik Faisal.
In the letter, Nik Faisal had instructed the bank to close three Najib’s accounts – 2112022011898, 2112022011880 and 2112022011906 – and transfer the money in those accounts into Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd’s account.
Ihsan Perdana is the corporate social responsibility unit of SRC International.
Lead defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee told newsmen last week that the testimony by Umma Devi had strengthened the defence argument that Najib could have been manipulated by unauthorised personnel.
He did not rule out the possibility that Nik Faisal could have misled an unsuspecting Najib.
Shafee said evidences suggested that certain unauthorised hidden hands, including one Jho Low and bank insiders, could have manipulated Najib’s accounts.
“Najib was unaware about all these transactions.
“Or else how to explain the forgery of signature,” Shafee told the press.
He added that his defence team would reveal more evidences, including a series of email conversations between AmBank public relations manager Joanna Yu Ging Ping and Jho Low, in coming hearings to prove that Najib was an unwitting victim in the conspiracy of fraudulent transactions.
“This is an interesting trial. Many was caught”.
Najib is facing seven charges relating to abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering involving RM42mil belonging to SRC International.
The trial is being presided by Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali. – NTHQiBord, 29 April 2019.