KUALA LUMPUR: The former chairman of the SRC International Sdn Bhd board of directors resigned from the company as he did not agree with the management style of its managing director, the High Court heard in the corruption and abuse of power trial of Najib Razak today.
Ismee Ismail, the 39th witness, said his resignation was largely due to Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil’s handling of accounts and SRC finances.
“Most of the action in relation to SRC was done by Nik Faisal in his capacity as managing director and chief operating officer of the company,” Ismee said, reading from a witness statement.
He said he tendered his resignation on May 6, 2014 but it only took effect on Aug 15 that year.
Ismee said he was appointed as director of SRC on Jan 7, 2011 as the company was under 1MDB.
He was appointed as non-executive director of 1MDB in 2009 as the company was under the Finance Ministry Incorporated.
Ismee said his appointment as chairman of SRC was made by Najib who was then prime minister and finance minister.
Najib faces six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust in the transfer of RM42 million to his account from SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former unit of 1MDB.
He is also accused of abusing his power as prime minister by giving government guarantees on SRC International’s RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Inc.
Ismee, who is now self-employed, said the SRC board must obtain Najib’s advice before making a decision as he is the adviser emeritus.
“Nik Faisal is the link man between the board and Najib. Any discussion or decision in relation to SRC must be brought to the attention of the prime minister,” he said
Ismee said he had also raised the issue of SRC governance in the daily activities of the company.
“Nik Faisal’s standard reply was that it was discussed and agreed on by the ‘government’. In my opinion, the government referred to by Nik Faisal was Najib,” he said when examined by deputy public prosecutor Ishak Mohd Yusoff.
Ismee said he was also aware that it was Najib who had appointed him as SRC director and that the then-prime minister therefore had the power to remove him as well.
“I am fully aware and know that Najib has the absolute power to hire and fire any SRC directors,” he said.
The hearing continues before justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali. – FREE MALAYSIA TODAY
Najib always in the know on SRC International’s decisions, says witness
DECISIONS made by SRC International’s board of directors had to be reported to Najib Razak for further input, the court heard today.
Ismee Ismail, who was chairman of SRC International’s board of directors from 2011 to 2014, told the Kuala Lumpur High Court that Najib was regularly briefed by CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, who served as the “link” between the entity and the former prime minister.
Ismee, 54, who was also a director at 1Malaysia Development Bhd, referred to the minutes of a meeting on September 7, 2011, in which Nik Faisal allegedly briefed the board of his meeting with Najib, who was also SRC International’s adviser emeritus.
Referring to the minutes, Ismee said the board was told that because 1MDB was a shareholder of SRC International, it had the right to know of the meeting between the former prime minister and 1MDB’s board.
Ismee, referring to the minutes in court today, said SRC International was to regularly issue reports to the prime minister.
Ismee said SRC International’s board of directors did not object to this.
He added that the minutes were later seized by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
Defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh objected to the inclusion of the evidence, saying that his client (Najib) had refuted its authenticity, calling it a “fake document”.
He added the defence only received a copy of the document on May 17 this year.
After deliberation, Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali ruled that the minutes should be marked ID, or for identification purposes, without being filed yet as evidence.
Harvinderjit said the defence intended to challenge the authenticity of the minutes during cross-examination. THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT
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