KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today ordered Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to enter his defence on seven charges of misappropriating RM42 million in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds.
Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali made the ruling at 11.34 am.
The judge arrived at the decision after finding that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against former prime minister Najib, 66, on three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT), three counts of money laundering and one count of abuse of power in relation to the funds.
The Pekan MP is accused of committing the offences between Aug 17, 2011 and March 2, 2015.
Najib, who served as the sixth prime minister from 2009 to 2018, is the first head of government of Malaysia to find himself in the dock of a court.
Najib who was in the dock appeared calm when the judge handed down the ruling before a packed courtroom.
Justice Mohd Nazlan said the court found the elements of using position, dishonesty and money laundering by the accused had been proven by the prosecution.
The judge said evidence recorded in the minutes of meetings showed that Najib was present during two meetings which approved government guarantees totalling RM4 billion for SRC by the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP).
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to enter his defence on seven charges of misappropriating RM42 million in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds.
The government guarantees had been approved in two stages of RM2 billion each.
“(The) KWAP loan would not have been approved without the government guarantees and early disbursement of the loan would not have been possible if the accused was not the Prime Minister or Finance Minister at the time.
“The accused had full control over the company (SRC) as the Finance Minister and MOF Inc as the sole shareholder of SRC,” he said.
The judge said former second finance minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah tried to intervene in SRC matters but was prevented by the accused.
The court fixed Dec 3 and 4, Dec 9 until 12, and Dec 16 to 19 for Najib to enter his defence.
“It is for the accused to rebut the evidence. I find the elements of abusing his position, dishonesty and money laundering have been proven and, as such, the accused is ordered to enter his defence,” he said.
After the judge completed reading out the judgment, Najib was offered three options to make his defence and he chose to give evidence under oath from the witness stand and be subjected to cross-examination by the prosecution.
The prosecution team is led by Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas. The team also comprises ad-hoc Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk V.Sithambaram while Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah leads a group of defence counsel.
Earlier, Najib, who was accompanied by his children Nooryana Najwa and Datuk Mohamad Nizar, had arrived at the Court Complex here at 8.45 am.
At 9 am, he had to attend another trial involving the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case before High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah.
The proceedings adjourned at 10 am as Najib had to appear before Justice Mohd Nazlan for the decision in the SRC case. – BERNAMA