ROSMAH’S SON IS THE ONE WHO INTRODUCED ME TO JHO LOW: NAJIB THROWS BLAME AROUND – PAINTS NIK FAISAL AS ‘MASTERMIND’ A DAY AFTER DOING THE SAME TO JHO, DENOUNCES EX-MINISTER HUSNI FOR ‘PRETENDING’ TO BE ‘MERE OFFICE BOY’

KUALA LUMPUR — Datuk Seri Najib Razak today testified that he was introduced to fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, by his stepson Riza Aziz in 2007.

Najib, in his testimony as the first defence witness of his RM42 million SRC International corruption trial, said he was told how Jho Low was a graduate of the Wharton Business School in the US, and a young entrepreneur with several successful businesses.

“He (Low) happens to be a successful person, who later was also involved with UBG and its acquisition together with Tun Taib Mahmud’s family members.

Najib said these representations had caused him to form his confidence in Low, which drove him to place his trust in the financier to acquire ventures from investment companies and bodies in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Yesterday, Najib testified that he was of the impression that Low was an influential person who was able to arrange meetings with Middle Eastern nations, which could assist former sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) achieve its goals.

Of the seven charges he was asked to enter his defence, Najib is accused of committing three counts of criminal breach of trust over a total RM42 million of SRC International funds while entrusted with its control as the prime minister and finance minister then, and a separate charge of abusing the same positions for self-gratification of the same sum.

For the remaining three charges, he is accused of laundering RM42 million.

SRC trial: Najib paints Nik Faisal as mastermind

KUALA LUMPUR  — SRC International Sdn Bhd chief executive Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil was duplicitous in managing SRC International Sdn Bhd, Datuk Seri Najib Razak testified in his defence at the High Court today.

Taking the stand as the first defence witness in his RM42 million SRC International corruption trial, Najib rejected testimony from former SRC International directors Tan Sri Ismee Ismail and Datuk Suboh Md Yassin about Nik Faisal being the intermediary between him and the company.

“I am sure I have never ordered the board in any way as I am not in a position to micro-manage any MoF Inc companies including SRC.

In their testimony, Ismee and Suboh both said the board’s decision required Najib’s approval, and instructions from Najib would be relayed through Nik Faisal.

Najib said in his limited meetings with Nik Faisal, the latter had only informed him of the board’s decision on various investments following discussions with outside negotiators.

“It is clear that Nik Faisal has played both sides. To me he said matters have been decided by the board and to the board he said I have given such orders to be followed,” he said.

Najib also singled out Ismee, whom he described as ignorant over the latter’s failure to confirm the matter with him directly and for simply accepting Nik Faisal at face value.

“Tan Sri Ismee, as I have mentioned before is a corporate leader with vast experience in the management of GLCs.

“He (Ismee) has my personal number to contact and we have met several times before. Never was I asked once about what he (Nik Faisal) told the board,” he said.

Ismee previously told the court he resigned three years after being appointed as a director in August 2011 after failing to accept Nik Faisal’s corporate practices, including the latter’s exclusive link between the company’s board of directors and Najib who was its advisor emeritus.

Of the seven charges he was asked to enter his defence, Najib is accused of committing three counts of criminal breach of trust over a total RM42 million of SRC International funds while entrusted with its control as the prime minister and finance minister then, and a separate charge of abusing the same positions for self-gratification of the same sum.

For the remaining three charges, he is accused of laundering RM42 million.

SRC trial: Najib denounces ex-minister who claimed to be mere ‘office boy’

KUALA LUMPUR — Datuk Seri Najib Razak accused former second finance minister Datuk Seri Husni Hanadzlah of carrying a political vendetta when the latter testified he was effectively an “office boy” despite being the second finance minister previously.

Testifying in his defence at his own RM42 million SRC International Sdn Bhd corruption trial, the former prime minister said Husni’s claims were contradicted by the latter’s response to the alleged treatment.

“If Datuk Husni had really said he was treated like a mere office boy, it is absurd to say so as he sought to remain in the Finance Ministry while harbouring such sentiments.

“There is a contradiction to what he has said to what actually took place. It is as though he was quite happy to be treated as an office boy,” he read from his prepared witness statement.

He said Husni was seeking to absolve himself of responsibility over SRC despite this being part of his duty then as a minister.

Najib also denied ever instructing Husni to keep from overseeing SRC International while he was the second finance minister, or stopping him from joining an envoy to Switzerland to supposedly assist in an issue concerning the company’s investments there.

He testified that Husni approved a Treasury Memo in November 2015 for a short term loan sought by SRC International.

“I believe Datuk Husni’s testimony carried intentions to smear me and had elements of grudges stemming from his dissatisfaction towards me,” said Najib before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

When asked why Husni would harbour such sentiments towards him, Najib testified that it could have been caused by his transfer from the Finance Ministry to the Economic Planning Unit, which preceded Husni’s resignation in 2016.

Najib said Husni then used the witness dock as a stage to retaliate.

“There are other instances, which I do not plan on revealing, reasons that clearly show his misinterpretation of my actions that caused deeper sentiments of vengeance towards me,” Najib read from his statement.

Husni was the prosecution’s 56th witness and had labelled Najib’s leadership as autocratic, going on to say how he felt sidelined to the level of an errand boy.

The former minister had testified that he was only required to sign documents concerning the formation of SRC International without his input being sought as a minister, and had confessed to duplicity in his 2016 media statements over his resignation to avoid “spoiling” the name of Najib.

Najib was ordered to enter his defence to three counts of criminal breach of trust over a total RM42 million of SRC International funds while entrusted with its control as the prime minister and finance minister then, three counts of laundering the RM42 million, and another charge of abusing the same positions for self-gratification the sum.

MALAY MAIL

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