KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Ismee Ismail may be impeached for making contradicting testimonies at the ongoing trial of Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur High Court.
Najib’s defence team is now studying the court transcripts and accumulating all necessary evidences to file an application under Section 155 of the Evidence Act 1950 at the court on Friday morning, June 14, 2019.
In the application, the defence is expected to seek the trial’s Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali to order appropriate actions, including an impeachment proceeding, to be taken against Ismee, the former SRC International Sdn Bhd chairman and director.
Mohd Nazlan today, Thursday, June 13, 2019, adjourned the hearing after the morning session following a request in his chamber by the defence team for enough time to prepare the application.
Nazlan is known in the legal circle as a judge who would not adjourn a hearing for lame excuses.
Thus his decision to give the defence time to study and gather evidences to file an application that could include an impeachment proceeding against a prime witness reveals the seriousness of discrepancies in Ismee’s testimonies.
According to observers familiar with the trial, Ismee, the prosecution’s 39th witness, had given several contradicting testimonies since he began to testify on Monday, June 10.
For instance, he first claimed that Najib, as the Prime Minister and Finance Minister then, had appointed Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil as SRC International chief executive officer (CEO) and director.
However, when pressed by the defence during the cross examination, he testified that Nik Faisal was appointed by 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) board of directors on August 2, 2011.
Ironically, Ismee was also a director of 1MDB at the material time.
SRC International’s SRC International was officially established on January 7, 2011 as a wholly owned subsidiary of 1MDB.
Ismee has also testified that he quit his positions in SRC International on August 15, 2014 due to disagreement with Nik Faisal’s management style.
In his testimonies, the 54-year-old witness has pinned all blames on Nik Faisal over wrongdoings, if any, in SRC International.
Citing examples, he testified that Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil had the tendency to lie, misrepresent facts and figures, and manipulate company’s accounts and financial statements.
He also testified that Nik Faisal hid several other vital information from the board, including that the company had a second account with number ending 736 in Ambank.
He said the board never knew that the first RM2 billion loan given by the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) was deposited into and transferred out of the second account on the same day, August 29, 2011.
He said the board was also not briefed on transaction details of the RM15 million that Nik Faisal had transferred out within a year after receiving a RM20 million government grant as the company’s start-up capital fund in 2011.
He told the court that the company’s board of directors was given the impression that Nik Faisal had always communicated with Najib on all company matters and that the ex-premier had actually endorsed many SRC International projects.
However, he said the board never once communicated with Najib directly or indirectly through the ex-premier’s close aides for verification over Nik Faisal’s claims.
Those in the legal circle said Ismee could be trying to wash his hands off the SRC International saga since he can be liable for crime under the Company Act 2016 for neglecting his duties as company chairman.
Najib is currently facing 7 charges of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money-laundering pertaining to SRC International. – NTHQiBord, 13 Jun 2019.