Wednesday, March 3

I did not meet Najib over audit doubts — Ex-SRC board chairman


KUALA LUMPUR: Former SRC International Sdn Bhd board of directors chairman Tan Sri Ismee Ismail said yesterday that he did not meet Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak regarding doubts in the Finance Ministry subsidiary’s account auditing status as he wanted to investigate the matter.

The 39th prosecution witness was testifying at the High Court here on the 24th day of the former prime minister’s SRC trial.

Cross examined by defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh on whether as chairman, he should have reported the matter to Najib, the witness replied, “I disagree”.

Ismee: I needed to investigate the non-filing and I called audit (firm) Deloitte on the delay. They (Deloitte) said they had not received several audit confirmations from the management.

“I took responsibility and asked what audit confirmations were outstanding. They (Deloitte) gave me info which deals with local banks, among others. It was on my table for two weeks and I dealt with it one by one. I took responsibility to close the accounts.

Harvinderjit: In your mind, the CEO of SRC Nik Faisal (Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil) was lying to Board of Directors (BoD), that the account was not audited. Is that not serious enough to bring the matter to the shareholder?

Ismee: I disagree

Harvinderjit: In your mind, you were concerned enough to talk to the prime minister specifically but did not escalate (your concerns over Nik Faisal) to the BoD, shareholder, Minister of Finance or Prime Minister?

Ismee : I did not, because the problem was resolved

Harvinderjit: Did Nik Faisal take any action in this matter?

Ismee: No. He said he was busy with some other things and he apologised.

At one point, when questioned on another issue, the witness wanted to explain further but Harvinderjit interrupted and said Ismee could explain the matter in detail during re-examination by the prosecution later.

Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram then stood up and interjected that the counsel could not prevent the witness from answering.

“Are you scared of the answer?” asked Sithambaram.

Najib, 66, is accused of three counts of criminal breach of trust, one charge of abusing his position and three counts of money laundering involving SRC International Sdn Bhd funds amounting to RM42 million.

Hearing before justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues today. — Bernama