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Court throws out Najib’s application to quash SRC charges

May 1, 2019

* Day 11: Bank officers of different ranks authorised RM4 billion transfer to SRC
* SRC trial: Najib didn’t lodge reports despite irregular signatures, massive transactions in personal accounts
* Habibul: Najib gave me RM2.5 million to spend on political intelligence
* AG wants 1MDB trial stalled until SRC case is over   

Najib Razak arrives in court today accompanied by Petaling Jaya Umno chief Abdul Mutalif Abdul Rahim, the brother of former Tabung Haji chairman Abdul Azeez Rahim.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today dismissed Najib Razak’s application to quash his seven charges related to SRC International Sdn Bhd on grounds that they are vague and he is unable to put up a credible defence.

Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali said the trial had proceeded for nine days, with 21 prosecution witnesses testifying and undergoing extensive cross-examination.

“There is no suggestion that the accused is misled or confused,” he said, adding that there are no defects in the charges.

He said Najib’s claim that the charges are unclear and that there has been abuse of court process is unsubstantiated.

As such, the judge said, the claim by the defence that the charges are unclear and there being abuse of the court process is unsubstantiated.

Nazlan also said the prosecution had given many documents to the accused to raise any defence during the case, and that he could not claim prejudice.

Najib faces six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust (CBT) in the transfer of RM42 million to his account from SRC International, 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.

The Pekan MP was charged with committing the offences at AmIslamic Bank Bhd in Jalan Raja Chulan and the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya between Aug 17, 2011, and Feb 10, 2015.

Najib’s defence team submitted last week that their client would be deprived of a fair trial as the charges are ambiguous. They also said he would not be able to respond with a credible defence.

They said Najib should not be prosecuted for both abuse of power and CBT as the ingredients to prove the cases are similar.

They also said the CBT charges are defective as the prosecution did not state how he had committed the offences.

“Moreover, it is wrong for the prosecution to lump three CBT charges together when the offences were allegedly committed in 2014. He should only face one charge,” Najib’s lawyer Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden had said.

He also said the three money laundering charges do not constitute a principal offence, unlike CBT and abuse of power.

“The charge merely states that the money was allegedly the proceeds of unlawful activity. The prosecution must indicate what the predicate offence is.

“Therefore, the charges for the Amla offences as they stand are vague,” he said, referring to the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

Yusof also said Najib could not be charged with money laundering together with CBT and abuse of power as the first is only reserved for a subsidiary offender.

Deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram, meanwhile, submitted that the CBT, abuse of power and money laundering charges are distinct offences and come under laws approved by Parliament.

“All have different ingredients for the prosecution to prove its case against accused persons,” he said.

Sithambaram also said Najib would have understood the charges as the prosecution had supplied 7,000 pages of documents to be used in trial, apart from the charge sheets.

Sithambaram said the prosecution could amend the charges before closing its case, while the trial judge could do the same at any time before delivering judgment.

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