04 July 2018

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has claimed trial to three charges of criminal breach of trust and another for abuse of power in relation to RM42 million allegedly misappropriated from a former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) unit. He pleaded not guilty before the High Court here, where the case was transferred earlier from the Sessions Court.

Newly appointed Attorney General Tommy Thomas led the prosecution team assisted by 11 deputy public prosecutors.

Najib’s sons Mohd Nazifuddin and Norashman as well as his daughter Nooryana Najwa were in the gallery. His wife Rosmah Mansor was not present in the courtroom, but her lawyer was seen in the courtroom.

The court set bail at RM1 million with two sureties. Najib was also ordered to surrender his passport until his trial is concluded.

The planned media conference by Thomas had to be cancelled when he started to speak in English, Najib supporters chanted “Bahasa Malaysia” and “Melayu” and “Hidup Melayu” to drown out Tommy’s voice. Tommy was then escorted away for his safety.

Earlier on the Bar Council released a statement that the 1MDB task force has no legal standing to arrest Najib and only the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police could order his arrest. When asked about this statement, Thomas said the prosecuting team was made to understand that it was the MACC that conducted the investigations and made the arrest.

Malaysia’s Immigration Department said on Wednesday (4 July 2018) that they have cancelled the passport of businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, in connection with the 1MDB on the instruction of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). He has also been named in civil lawsuits filed by the United States Department of Justice.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had rejected an offer by Jho Low to meet in Dubai and assist in the investigations in return for immunity from prosecution over the 1MDB scandal. Star on Line reported.

Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, former CEO of SRC a subsidiary of 1MDB had the authority to manage 3 personal bank accounts in the name of Mr Najib. Nik Faisal is said to have played a key role in the transfer of funds from SRC International into personal bank accounts of Mr Najib in AmBank. SRC International was a subsidiary of 1MDB. It was taken over by the Finance Ministry as it could not repay its loans. Misappropriation of SRC funds is easier to prove as the transactions were between local companies or banks. In the case of 1MDB scandal all transactions were done with overseas banks and companies and therefore it would prove to be difficult to prove the corruption in the transactions.

Nik Faisal is believed to be in Indonesia, as he has family ties there through his Indonesian wife of three years.