Najib Trial Day 23 Src Board Not Told About Rm2b Transfer To Ambank Account



The criminal trial of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak involving the alleged misappropriation of funds from SRC International Sdn Bhd enters its 23rd day today at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.Malaysiakini brings you live reports of the proceedings
Summary of Najib’s SRC RM42 million caseNajib is facing 7 charges relating to RM42m involving SRC International, a former 1MDB subsidiary
1 abuse of power charge3 criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges3 money laundering chargesClick to view infomation on judge, prosecution and defence teamKEY HIGHLIGHTS Witness, lawyer clash over 'reporting line' in disputed minutesSRC board not told about RM2b transfer to AmBank accountBoard didn't know about SRC's AmBank accountNik Faisal didn't tell SRC board about letter seeking gov't guaranteeNik Faisal was lying to SRC board? Yes, says witnessSRC board uncertain about veracity of M'sia-Abu Dhabi 'joint venture'1MDB board didn't know state fund could be guarantor for KWAP loanThank you for following Malaysiakini's live report5.12pm - Thank you for following our live report today
5.10pm - Proceedings adjourn for the day and will resume at 9am tomorrow
Witness, lawyer clash over 'reporting line' in disputed minutes4.35pm - Defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh and former SRC International chairperson Ismee Ismail clash over the "reporting line" mentioned in the disputed minutes of a Sept 7, 2011 meeting between the company's director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and then-premier Najib Abdul Razak.  They argue over whether this means Najib's approval was required for SRC International's dealings
Previously, the defence successfully stopped the minutes of the alleged meeting being admitted as evidence. The document was classified as 'ID499' instead
These minutes purportedly contain Najib's directive to the SRC International board on how to use the RM2 billion loaned by Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) that year
Harvinderjit: All the minutes talk about is a functional reporting line to the prime minister (Najib), it does not mean get his approval
Ismee: It refers to 'Reporting to me (Najib), you need to get my agreement.'Harvinderjit: Or it could just mean furnishing regular reports (to Najib)
Ismee: That is not what is said (of regular reports) in ID499
Harvinderjit: Yes, it is just reporting what was done, not to get approval
Ismee: Then what is functional reporting? When you say report to prime minister, what does it mean then
Harvinderjit: That was your perception, that it is needed to get the prime minister's consent
Ismee: Yes
Harvinderjit: But this jeopardises the requirement of (SRC International) to get the approval of 1MDB
Ismee agrees with Harvinderjit that the SRC International board needed to seek approval from 1MDB, which was the sole shareholder of the company in 2011
The witness also agrees that any person acting on instructions needs to be in line with the company's aspiration, which is to get 1MDB's approval
SRC board not told about RM2b transfer to AmBank account3.17pm - Former SRC International chairperson Ismee Ismail admits that the company's then director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil never told the board of directors that he had asked the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) to transfer an RM2 billion loan into an AmBank account registered to SRC
During cross-examination by lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, the 39th witness agrees with the lawyer on this point
Earlier, Ismee had said that the SRC International board of directors was not aware of the opening of the account ending with the numbers 736
Harvinderjit: Three days after an Aug 2011 meeting with SRC International's board of directors, Nik Faisal signed a letter for KWAP to draw down the RM2 billion facility […] to account 736
Ismee: Yes
Harvinderjit: We are moving to a more serious transgression. The (SRC International) board was never told about the drawdown to move RM2 billion to an account (736) it was not even aware of
Ismee: It appears so
Harvinderjit: I can see that Tan Sri (Ismee) is disturbed, but it is what it is. Look at the entries for Aug 2011 (in the AmBank account’s statement) in the name of SRC International, where an RM2 billion amount in four tranches of RM500 million each was credited into this account on Aug 29, 2011. This is serious, that on the same day, the entire RM2 billion was also debited out
Board didn't know about SRC's AmBank account 3pm - SRC International's board of directors was left in the dark about the existence of an AmBank account registered to the company in 2011, a witness tells the Kuala Lumpur High Court
Ismee Ismail, who is a former chairperson of SRC International, testifies under cross-examination by defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh that the board never had control of the account, as they did not know about it
Harvinder: And this (ending) 736 account, throughout the time you were director (in SRC International), was never under the control of the board
Ismee: Yes
Harvinderjit: If the board didn’t know about it, it couldn't be under the control of the board, correct
Ismee: Yes
Harvinderjit: By not disclosing (its) existence, (it is) a measure to ensure board control of the account owned by SRC is bypassed, correct
Ismee: Yes
Prior to this testimony, the court had heard that an AmBank account ending with the numbers 736 was opened in Jan 2011, with only two persons named as its signatories, namely its then directors Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and Vincent Koh Beng Huat
At that point in time, SRC International had not formed a board of directors yet. Nik Faisal was later to become the company's CEO and managing director when the board was formed in August that year
Nik Faisal didn't tell SRC board about letter seeking gov't guarantee12.50pm - SRC International’s board of directors was not briefed by Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil about his letter to the Finance Ministry seeking a government guarantee for a loan from the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) in August 2011
The former chairperson of the company, Ismee Ismail, says this while being cross-examined by defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh
Ismee testifies the SRC director did not disclose his letter at the first meeting convened by the board not long after he sent the letter to the ministry. This was according to documents that had been tendered in the court as evidence
Harvinderjit: I will show you another letter. Aug 12, 2011 again by Nik Faisal, signing as managing director and CEO. Now (the letter is addressed) to the Finance Ministry seeking a government guarantee of RM2 billion (loan)
Ismee: Yes
Harvinderjit: You were never told about this letter
Ismee: Yes
Harvinderjit: (You were) also not told about the Aug 12 letter (from Nik Faisal to KWAP)
Ismee: No
Harvinderjit: This was after you joined SRC’s board of directors
Ismee: Yes
Harvinderjit: Should (this) have been told by Nik Faisal during the first board meeting
Ismee: It should have been
The court then adjourns for lunch and is expected to resume at 2.30pm
Nik Faisal was lying to SRC board? Yes, says witness12.35pm - Najib Abdul Razak's defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh grills former SRC International chairperson Ismee Ismail on whether the company's then director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil had been lying to the company's board of directors
This transpires during the lawyer's cross-examination of the 39th witness over Nik Faisal's claim to SRC International's board of directors on the purported joint venture deal between Aabar Investment and SRC International
Harvinderjit: The (SRC International) board was told (by Nik Faisal) about the JV (a joint venture involving Aabar Investment) arising out of a meeting between Najib and an Abu Dhabi head, in a letter in June (2011)
SRC International applied for the (RM3.85 billion) loan (from Retirement Fund Incorporated or KWAP) with nothing to do with the Aabar partnership
It appears (that) Nik Faisal was lying to the board
Ismee: Yes. The board wasn't even told I was nominated as chairperson (of SRC International)
Harvinderjit: This letter dated June 3, there is no letter from PM (then premier Najib) approving Nik Faisal (be appointed as) director of SRC in June (2011)
Ismee: Yes
Harvinderjit: You agree that when you came as (SRC International) as director in August 2011, it would have been material for the board to be told earlier that the company (SRC International) was already committed to the RM3.95 billion loan (from KWAP)
Ismee: Yes
Ismee also agrees with Harvinderjit's assertion that SRC International's board of directors was kept in the dark by Nik Faisal about the fact he had applied for an RM3.95 billion loan from Najib on behalf of the company, through a letter from SRC to Najib dated June 3, 2011. The former SRC International chairperson agrees that the company's board was not informed by Nik Faisal about the loan application during the first board meeting in Aug 2011
SRC board uncertain about veracity of M'sia-Abu Dhabi 'joint venture'10.30am - Former SRC International chairperson Ismee Ismail agrees that the company's board of directors was uncertain about the veracity of a proposed joint venture involving Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investments PJS
Aabar Investments PJS is a subsidiary of the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), an investment entity owned by the Abu Dhabi government.A company called Aabar Investments PJS Limited (Aabar-BVI) eventually received funds from 1MDB, and is one of the entities linked to the 1MDB investigation. Aabar-BVI bore a similar name to the IPIC’s Aabar, but there was no affiliation between IPIC and Aabar-BVI
During cross-examination by Najib Abdul Razak's lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, the 39th witness agrees with the lawyer that the board was uncertain whether there was such a proposed joint venture
Harvinderjit was referring to the minutes in which SRC International director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil told the company's board in 2011 about the proposed joint venture following a high-level meeting between representatives of Malaysia and Abu Dhabi
This had led to the initial application by SRC for an RM3.95 billion loan from the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP)
IPIC headquartersHarvinderjit: There was a meeting in June 2011 where both parties had a discussion, Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, on strategic resources. This referred to Najib.Ismee: Yes
Harvinderjit: Since then, there was rapid implementation and disbursement of the launching grant (to SRC International). It goes on to show how Nik Faisal told the board about a high-level discussion between Malaysia and Abu Dhabi representatives, then this company (Aabar-BVI) was incorporated. (This involved) a proposed joint venture arrangement. The launching grant and process (of loan from) KWAP hinged on this potential deal with Aabar Investment
Ismee: Yes
Ismee also agrees with Harvinderjit's assertion that the SRC International board of directors was not shown any other documents by Nik Faisal as proof of this proposed joint venture
Harvinderjit: The board had the impression of this (joint venture) being government-to-government. That put a stop to further inquiries about the deal
Ismee: Yes
Harvinderjit: Whether that was true or not, or whether there was any (government) department working on the Aabar deal, you did not know
Ismee: (Nods head)Harvinderjit: He (Nik Faisal) gave the impression he knew more
Ismee: Yes. 1MDB board didn't know state fund could be guarantor for KWAP loan 10am - The 1MDB board of directors was not informed that there was an option of securing a loan from the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) for SRC International with a corporate guarantee from 1MDB, instead of a government guarantee
Former non-executive director of 1MDB, Ismee Ismail, says this while being cross-examined by defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh
According to Ismee, the 1MDB board did not know that KWAP offered to provide a loan to SRC International based on a corporate guarantee from 1MDB
He then agrees to Harvinderjit's suggestion that the board might have chosen this option if they knew about it then, instead of using a government guarantee to secure the loan instead
Harvinderjit: My point is this. There was an option for 1MDB to be the guarantor. It could have been material for the board to take note that 1MDB offered itself as a guarantor. And (the) government guarantee was (only) plan B. You said you can't remember from memory if the 1MDB board was told about this corporate guarantee (option). My point is that it could be in place if you knew (about it)?Ismee: Yes
Earlier in the trial, other witnesses who were involved in KWAP's process of approving a total of RM4 billion in loan facilities to SRC International had testified that the investment panel of the retirement fund initially decided to offer a loan to 1MDB, instead of providing a loan directly to SRC International
In addition to being a 1MDB non-executive director, Ismee was also the former chairperson of SRC International
SRC International is a former 1MDB subsidiary. 9.19am - Najib Abdul Razak enters the dock as proceedings begin.The cross-examination of former SRC International chairperson Ismee Ismail by defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh resumes.9.05am - Clad in a dark suit and dark blue tie, former Pahang menteri besar Adnan Yaakob enters the courtroom and takes a seat in the public gallery to await the beginning of proceedings.Also present in court are Najib Abdul Razak's lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (below) and other members of the defence team, as well as DPP V Sithambaram and other members of the prosecution team
Shafee is seen greeting members of the defence team as well as the DPP
8.57am - Accused Najib Abdul Razak enters the courtroom and is seen conferring with his defence counsel Yusof Zainal Abiden in the public gallery.Spotted in the dock is a copy of the book The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene, as well as a few cushions for Najib's back
As Najib Abdul Razak’s RM42 million SRC International trial enters its 23rd day today, the issue of how much control the former prime minister had over the former 1MDB subsidiary will be at the forefront.When cross-examination of former SRC International chairperson Ismee Ismail resumes before Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali at 9am, the focus will be on the 39th witness’ earlier testimony on the accused’s role in the company’s business dealings and appointment of directors, among others
Earlier yesterday during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Ishak Mohd Yusoff, Ismee told the court that a crucial amendment - the inclusion of Article 117 to SRC International’s article of association - resulted in then finance minister Najib having control over every aspect of the company’s business
Summary of Najib’s SRC RM42 million caseNajib is facing 7 charges relating to RM42m involving SRC International, a former 1MDB subsidiary
1 abuse of power charge3 criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges3 money laundering chargesClick to view infomation on judge, prosecution and defence teamWhile under heavy grilling by Najib’s defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh, Ismee admitted that he did not actually see Najib signed the minutes of the company’s extraordinary general meeting on April 23, 2012, which led to the passing of Article 117
The amendment purportedly led to Najib’s appointment as advisor emeritus of SRC International, which by that point had become a fully-owned entity of the Minister of Finance Incorporated
Article 117 requires SRC International’s board of directors to seriously consider and implement Najib's advice in the running of the company
Yesterday, Harvinderjit and Ismee also clashed on the importance of Najib’s approval in the appointment of SRC International director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, with the lawyer repeatedly asking whether the then premier’s nod merely amounted to formalising the appointment by the company’s board of directors, while the witness insisted that Najib’s greenlight was vital for the appointment
The defence lawyer zeroed in on similar points yesterday, with Ismee conceding that SRC International’s board of directors never sought verification whether Nik Faisal, a constant presence in the company’s meetings, ever had acted as a link between the company and Najib. 

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