The High Court heard that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had suggested for Datuk Seri Najib Razak to be charged under Section 403 of the Penal Code over the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal but it did not materialise as there was insufficient evidence to back up the case.
Former chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad testified that the MACC also suggested an alternative charge under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009.
Section 403 of the Penal Code touches on offences of criminal misappropriation of property while Section 23 of the MACC Act is on abuse of power.
“The MACC was of the opinion that there was no case of criminal breach of trust, ” Dzulkifli said when examined by lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah at the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial here Tuesday (March 10).
The witness, however, said former attorney general Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali told the MACC to continue its investigation.
“Apandi thought there were two important elements for further investigation; whether Najib had knowledge that the money that went into his account was SRC International money and whether he had instructed anybody to move the money into his account, ” Dzulkifli said.
The witness told the court that the MACC did continue the investigation upon Apandi’s direction.
“However, the MACC could not answer the questions (relating to the two elements that were raised) and informed (the Attorney General’s Chambers) that there were no statements to show Najib gave the directive to move monies into his account, ” he said.
The witness said the investigation papers (IPs) were pushed back to the AGC and it was up to the AG to decide.
Shafee: What happened after the AG got the IPs?
Dzulkifli: It was decided as an “NFA” (No Further Action).
Shafee: For which case?
Dzulkifli: For both SRC International and 1MDB.
The witness said it was particularly important to be able to prove the element of knowledge as required under Section 403 of the Penal Code.
“MACC itself made a statement that the RM2.6bil was a donation. I was together with the MACC team that went to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to verify the four letters by Prince Saud Abdulaziz who confirmed the donation.
“So the donation issue, for me, was a done deal, ” he added.
Dzulkifli was part of the team that went to Riyadh to record the statement of Prince Saud on Nov 29,2015.
Najib is facing seven charges – three for criminal breach of trust, one for abuse of power and three for money laundering involving SRC International funds totalling RM42mil.
The hearing before Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues on Wednesday (March 11).
The same witness is expected to be cross-examined by lead prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram.
Source : Malaysia Today
I Was Shocked When MACC Recommended Charging Najib, Ex-Prosecutor Tells Court
Former deputy public prosecutor Dzulkilfi Ahmad said he was “shocked” when the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in 2015 recommended that the Attorney-General’s Chambers press charges against then prime minister Najib Razak for alleged “dishonest misappropriation of funds” related to SRC International.
He told the High Court the recommendation was made by the then MACC special operations division director Bahri Mohammad Zin in his written note on the anti-graft body’s investigation papers submitted to the AGC on Dec 31, 2015.
“To us in AGC, it is important to prove the element of knowledge under Section 403 of Penal Code,” he said, adding that in the opinion of then attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali and himself, the case should have been classified under “no further action” or NFA.
He said this in response to questions from Najib’s lawyer, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, about his reaction upon receiving the MACC’s investigation papers and recommendations.
Dzulkifli was one of the deputy public prosecutors assigned by Apandi to look into MACC’s investigation papers involving the SRC International and RM2.6 billion “donation” cases. The other DPPs were Muhamad Anas Mahadzir, Budiman Lutfi Mohamed, Noor Zalizan Lazarous, Saiful Hazmi Mohd Saad and Nazran Mohd Sham.
Dzulkifli, now a lawyer, said 1MDB investigating officer R Rajagopal told him in November 2015 that then MACC chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed had also suggested to the AG at the time, Abdul Gani Patail, to press charges against Najib during a 1MDB special task force meeting at Gani’s house on July 4 the same year.
“He said he took notes of the meeting. What Rajagopal said was he heard Abu Kassim telling Gani to charge Najib as Gani was nearing his retirement, and made a remark that ‘people will remember you’,” he said.
Dzulkifli said that when Abu Kassim made the statement to Gani on July 4, MACC had not recorded statements from Najib and other key witnesses such as former SRC International chief executive officer Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, former company director Suboh Md Yassin and fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho.
“Their evidence was important to prove the ingredient of the charges. In that situation, charges cannot be brought as the investigation was not complete,” he said.
Najib is accused of abusing his power as prime minister by giving government guarantees on SRC International’s RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Inc.
He is also charged with three counts of money laundering and three counts of criminal breach of trust in the transfer of RM42 million to his accounts from the former 1MDB unit.
Source : Malaysia Today