Prosecutor: SRC International’s business plan a ‘sham’, Najib admitted nothing came off investments with RM4b KWAP loan

PUTRAJAYA : SRC International Sdn Bhd’s entire business plan was a sham despite getting RM4 billion in loans from the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) with which achieved nothing, the Court of Appeal heard today (April 15).

Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram said former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the appellant, conceded as much in his trial for misappropriating RM42 million belonging to SRC International.

During the heated rebuttal for today’s appeal hearing, Sithambaram said there was no definite proof that some RM3.8 billion credited out of SRC International to Switzerland in 2012 were ever used for its intended purpose in renewable energy sector investments.

SRC International previously obtained two loans totalling RM4 billion from KWAP through two Government Guarantees that Najib had signed off on as prime minister and finance minister during two Cabinet meetings held in August 2011 and February 2012.

Sithambaram said the sham was further proven when Najib himself admitted in court during cross-examination that nothing of SRC International’s purported investment had transpired at the time he was in public office and even refused to take responsibility for the alleged failure of SRC International.

Former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya April 15, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya April 15, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

“The appellant himself admits nothing had happened but put the (blame) on the SRC International’s board (of directors) head.

“They have to show the money was used for investment purposes.

“I’m saying the whole thing is a sham, nothing has happened,” he said, adding that he found it strange that the money for renewable energy investment was instead deposited in fixed deposits of a Swiss bank.

As Sithambaram was submitting, Najib’s lawyer Harvinderjit Singh then stood up to voice his disagreement.

This then prompted Court of Appeal judge Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil who is chairing a three-member panel to interject the ongoing hearing.

“Order, order. I am asking the question, he (Sithambaram) is responding to me. You will have time to respond,” Abdul Karim as he reprimanded Harvinderjit for attempting to disrupt Sithambaram’s submission.

Allowed to resume his submission, Sithambaram informed the court that the prosecution had faced “objections” throughout the trial in the High Court.

Around 2015, SRC International was not able to repay the interest due to KWAP on the two loans totalling RM4 billion.

Sithambaram also said the setting up of SRC International was not a sham, to which Abdul Karim queried further whether the real intention of its setting up was camouflaged.

“Your Lordship is right. On paper SRC International put up a proposal but there was nothing to show, nothing at all,” he said in reply.

Sithambaram then pointedly said that if SRC International had done well, Malaysia would not need to worry of any power failures again and could obtain cheaper energy tariff which he would be proud of.

In the RM42 million SRC International case, Najib was sentenced to 10 years’ jail on each of the three counts of CBT and each of the three counts of money laundering, and 12 years’ jail and a RM210 million fine, in default five years’ jail, in the case of abuse of position on July 28 last year.

However, Najib will only serve 12 years in jail as the judge ordered all the jail sentences to run concurrently.

The appeal hearing before Court of Appeal judge Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil who chaired a three-member panel alongside Datuk Has Zanah Mehat and Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera continues.

By : KENNETH TEE – MALAY MAIL

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