Najib Trial Day 31 Defence S Strategy To Confuse Witness With Running Commentary Dpp



The criminal trial of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak involving the alleged misappropriation of funds from SRC International Sdn Bhd enters its 30th 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 HIGHLIGHTSDefence's strategy is to confuse witness with running commentary, says DPPNik Faisal 'emboldened' as he had someone behind him - SubohNajib never informed SRC board about Nik Faisal's liaison role - witnessEx-SRC director changed MACC statement 3 times over signature on bank filesSuboh unsure whether he was under MACC witness protectionSuboh says post-GE14 Jakarta holiday cut short by travel banJudge directs Suboh to read a portion of MACC statementCourt awaits arrival of Suboh's statement to MACCSuboh's statement to MACC to be produced in courtDefence corners Suboh on 'forged' signatures'I couldn't have signed off on SRC money transfers'Suboh admits signatures on SRC docs 'different' from his ownNajib enters the dock as proceedings kick offThank you for following Malaysiakini's live report5.30pm - Thank you for following our live report today
Defence's strategy is to confuse witness with running commentary - DPP5.18pm - DPP Ishak Mohd Yusoff claims that former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak's defence strategy involves giving a running commentary that confuses the witness
"From day one, the cross-examination has been (giving) a running commentary, and then asking questions
"Why not just ask specific questions, instead of a running commentary that confuses the witness?" Ishak tells Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali
This follows a heated disagreement between the defence and the prosecution over whether to allow former SRC International Sdn Bhd director Suboh Md Yassin to explain his answers
Earlier, as the 42nd witness attempted to elucidate a statement, Najib's counsel Harvinderjit Singh cut him off, eliciting an angry response from DPP V Sithambaram
"Let him answer. This is unfair, this is an old gentleman whose answers (the defence is) trying to cut off," Sithambaram said sharply to Harvinderjit
The judge then allows proceedings to adjourn for the day and to continue at 9am tomorrow
Nik Faisal 'emboldened' as he had someone behind him - Suboh5.10pm - Former SRC International director Suboh Md Yassin describes then company CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil as having been "emboldened" due to having "somebody behind him"
During cross-examination by lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, the 42nd witness compares the support received by Suboh to the Chinese saying of having a mountain behind one’s back
"He (Nik Faisal) is emboldened by his position. He is CEO of a company. A very powerful person, the number two
"He is emboldened because he has somebody behind him. Like the Chinese saying, ‘Mountain behind him’.”Suboh is replying to Harvinderjit's question on whether Nik Faisal had lied to the board of SRC about having links to Najib
Najib never informed SRC board about Nik Faisal's liaison role, says witness 5pm - Former SRC International Sdn Bhd director Suboh Md Yassin testifies that Najib Abdul Razak never informed the company's board that its then CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil was the point of contact between the company and the then premier
The 42nd witness makes this statement during cross-examination by lawyer Harvinderjit Singh
Harvinderjit: At no point in time did Najib inform the (SRC International) board in writing or orally that Nik Faisal is the contact point
Suboh: Correct
Ex-SRC director changed MACC statement 3 times over signature on bank files3.40pm - The court hears that former SRC International director Suboh Md Yassin had changed his statements to MACC several times regarding his alleged signatures on a total of 17 banking instructions concerning money transfers related to Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd
Gandingan Mentari was a subsidiary of SRC International, while Ihsan Perdana was SRC International's corporate social reponsibility partner. Under cross-examination by lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Suboh agrees that he had admitted to MACC that all the documents were signed by him when his statement was taken in 2015
It is then established that Suboh changed his statement when he was questioned on May 28 and 30, 2018. He had denied signing the papers and knowing anything about the transactions
This time, Suboh told the MACC that he made the admission in 2015 because he did not have the chance to check all the signatures in detail
According to Suboh's statement to MACC, which is read by Shafee in court and confirmed by the witness, Suboh then once again made a U-turn and admitted that all the banking papers were indeed signed by him
Confronted by Shafee over these contradicting statements, Suboh then tells the court that he might have been able to give a better answer to MACC then if he were shown comparisons of the signatures, similar to what Shafee did in court since yesterday
Shafee: So you are saying if you were shown (the signatures) like the way I showed you, you could have given a better answer (then)
Suboh: Yes
Shafee: Now you are clear that these transfer documents - from SRC to Gandingan Mentari, and then from Gandingan Mentari to Ihsan Perdana - were never signed by you
Suboh: Yes
Shafee: Now you accept with this demonstration, you accept that you could not have signed (the documents)
Suboh: Yes, especially the same (identical) signatures (on scanned copies of banking instructions)
Suboh: Did MACC place me under witness protection? I don't know 3.20pm - Former SRC International Sdn Bhd director Suboh Md Yassin says he does not know whether he was placed under witness protection by MACC after agreeing to assist probes into scandals concerning the company
Testifying in Kuala Lumpur High Court, he also denies that MACC had provided him with any form of guarantee
Suboh tells the court that he only contacted MACC from Jakarta in late May 2018 to discuss scheduling his return to Malaysia
Shafee: What was the nature of the conversation
Suboh: We were talking about scheduling, what flight number (I should take)
Shafee: You said you called him (MACC officer). What was the purpose
Suboh: I said I was on vacation and whether it (travel ban) could be lifted
Shafee: Then what did he say
Suboh: Come back to Malaysia
Shafee: Is there any guarantee of some sort
Suboh: No
Shafee: Are you sure
Suboh: Sure
Shafee: (Were you given) witness protection
Suboh: What kind of protection
Shafee: Were you given witness protection
Suboh: I do not know
Shafee: When you came back, did you request to stay somewhere else
Suboh: No
Shafee: So you requested to stay at your house
Suboh: Yes
Shafee: Were you guarded by MACC
Suboh: I don’t know
Shafee: You don’t know
Suboh: I stay in a condominium, I have ‘pak guard’ there lah
Shafee: Were you aware if you were being guarded by any MACC officer
Suboh: Not that I know of
Shafee: Did you negotiate for your travel ban to be lifted
Suboh: No. Until today, I did not negotiate anything
Suboh says post-GE14 Jakarta holiday cut short by travel ban3.10pm - Former SRC International director Suboh Md Yassin (left in photo) testifies that he not only managed to vote in the May 2018 general election, but also holidayed in Jakarta later that same month
Under cross-examination from lead defence lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the witness says, however, that he and his wife were forced to cut short their holiday upon finding out that a travel ban had been imposed on him
"My son here (in Malaysia), I communicated with him, he said I should look at my passport."Suboh says that after checking his immigration status online, he found out about the travel restriction
He adds that this led him to get in touch with the MACC, and subsequently furnish them with a statement on May 28 last year
2.59pm - Proceedings resume with former SRC International director Suboh Md Yassin taking the stand for cross-examination by lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah
1.33pm - Proceedings break for lunch and will resume at 2.45pm
Judge directs Suboh to read a portion of MACC statement1.30pm - Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali directs former SRC International director Suboh Md Yassin to read a relevant portion of a statement he gave to MACC last year
This follows a contentious back and forth between the prosecution and defence on whether Suboh should be allowed to read the entire statement, or just the relevant portion
"I allow after the break that the statement be given to witness to read, and to tell the court whether a certain (relevant) portion can be highlighted," Nazlan rules
Earlier, Shafee argued that Suboh should be allowed to read the entire statement for the sake of context
Deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram argued against this, contending that the Rentas (real-time electronic transfer of funds and securities) transactions between SRC International, Gandingan Mentari and Ihsan Perdana are all in the relevant portion of the statement
12.34pm - Proceedings resume
Court awaits arrival of Suboh's statement to MACC11.45am - Proceedings come to a pause pending the arrival of documents containing former SRC International director Suboh Md Yassin's statement to the MACC
The defence team of former premier Najib Abdul Razak had requested that the statement made last year be produced in court
It is understood that lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is trying to establish what made Suboh initially testify that he himself signed bank documents authorising transfers worth millions of ringgit between SRC International, Gandingan Mentari and Ihsan Perdana
Suboh said earlier today, however, that he did not sign the documents himself
According to defence lawyer Farhan Muhammad Shafee, proceedings will resume at 12.30pm
Suboh's statement to MACC to be produced in court10.20am - Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali (photo) allows a bid from the defence for the statement given to the MACC by former SRC International director Suboh Md Yassin in 2018 be produced in court
"On the request for the witness to refresh his memory by referring to the statement he gave to MACC, under Section 159 (of the Evidence Act 1950) in relation to the reporting of a statement by a witness to a recording officer, I allow the application," the judge rules
Nazlan's ruling comes on the heels of Suboh admitting under cross-examination that his signatures may have been forged to authorise 17 transactions involving millions of ringgit between SRC International, Gandingan Mentari, and Ihsan Perdana
Grilled by defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Suboh had concurred that his signatures were forged on bank documents authorising these transactions between 2014 and 2015
Shafee's application is made under Section 159(1) of the Evidence Act in reference to refreshing a witness' memory by having the witness refer to any writing he had made
Defence corners Suboh on 'forged' signatures10.05am - Lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah tries to corner key prosecution witness Suboh Md Yassin into admitting that he was coached into signing 17 AmIslamic Bank documents between 2014 and 2015
This comes after the former SRC International director admitted in court that the signatures on the documents could not be his
Shafee begins by pointing out that Suboh told the prosecution yesterday that he signed the documents himself. The lawyer then tries to get the witness to agree that he must be able to recognise his own signature
Shafee: I ask you this. Answer truthfully. I'm going to put you in a more comfortable position. I'm saying you can't not have recognised your own signature
Suboh: Can you repeat that again
Shafee: You can't not have recognised your own signature. This means you must be able to recognise your own signature
Suboh: Yes, correct
Shafee: And you did not make any mistake (when saying) that the hard copy is not your signature
Suboh: Correct
Shafee: Who asked you to admit the hard copies contain your signatures? Who put you up to it? Be careful with your answer. You are in a court of law. I ask again. Who put you up to it? Why did you admit (these were your signatures)
Suboh: I was never put up to such an admission
Shafee: Are you sure
Suboh: Yes
Shafee: Did you not, after the election, did you not say to the MACC officer, 'These are not my signatures'? Did you not say that
Suboh: I cannot remember
Shafee: Come on, this is not an event you can simply say 'cannot remember'. This is when your statement was recorded by the MACC
Suboh: I cannot remember
Shafee: If you look at your own statement, would your memory be refreshedSuboh: Yes
Shafee: Would you like to see (the statement)
Suboh: Can
Shafee then makes an application to allow the witness to have his memory refreshed by referring to the statement he gave the MACC in 2018
'I couldn't have signed off on SRC money transfers'9.50am - Suboh Md Yassin agrees to a suggestion by defence lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah that he could not have signed 17 documents related to transfer of monies between SRC International, Gandingan Mentari and Ihsan Perdana between 2014 and 2015
This contradicts the former SRC International director telling the prosecution yesterday that he signed the bank documents himself
Shafee: I want to draw some conclusions. All the scanned copies, many of them, carry your signature. But they are scanned (copies of your signature). Somebody lifted your signature, cut and paste it on documents, and sent it to the bank. They carry your signature but you did not sign those documents. 17 times. You could not sign identically, you agree
Suboh: Yes
Shafee: You didn't sign the scanned copies? Suboh: [Agrees]Shafee: This means you didn't sign any of the Rentas (real-time electronic transfer of funds and securities) forms, which is evidence in this case. You signed none of them
Suboh: Then who did? Shafee: We will get to that. Your CEO (former SRC International CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil) is most likely the candidate. But you didn't sign (these documents)
Suboh: Yes
Earlier, Suboh agreed that his signatures on the hard copies of instructions to AmIslamic Bank for the money transfers could have been forged
The witness admitted to this when Shafee asked him to compare the signature samples he produced in court yesterday to those on the bank documents
Suboh admits signatures on SRC docs 'different' from his own9.30am - Picking up from yesterday, former SRC International director continues comparing samples of his signature produced in court with those on documents tendered as evidence
Lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (photo) continues showing Suboh images of the signature samples, which are projected onto a screen in court. These samples are overlaid onto SRC International and Gandingan Mentari documents, which Suboh himself purportedly signed between 2014 and 2015
The witness then agrees that the signature samples are not similar to those on the documents, which include instructions to AmIslamic Bank to transfer monies between SRC International, Gandingan Mentari and Ihsan Perdana
Shafee: Notice the hard copy and your signature (sample) that we superimposed (put on top each other)
Suboh: It's different
Shafee: Completely different, you agree
Suboh: Right
Najib enters the dock as proceedings kick off9.07am - Najib enters the dock as proceedings begin
9.03am - Accused Najib Abdul Razak takes a seat in the front row of the public gallery
The former premier is seen conferring with his defence lawyers Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Harvinderjit Singh
Also seen in court is deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram and other members of the prosecution
All eyes will be on the ongoing cross-examination of former SRC International director Suboh Md Yassin as the corruption trial of former premier Najib Abdul Razak, involving RM42 million from the former 1MDB subsidiary, enters its 31st day
When proceedings resume before Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, observers will keenly follow the grilling of the elderly 42nd witness by veteran defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah
Yesterday, Suboh agreed with the possibility advanced by the defence that his signature may have been forged between 2014 and 2015 by then-SRC International CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil
Under relentless questioning, Suboh concurred with the possible ruse on Nik Faisal’s part in order to authorise millions of ringgit in transfers between the accounts of SRC International, its subsidiary Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd, and its corporate social responsibility partner Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd
However, this may have clashed with Suboh's own testimony during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Ishak Mohd Yusoff earlier in the day, when he said that he himself signed related bank documents presented to him for his authorisation
One area that the defence did not touch on yesterday is Suboh fleeing Malaysia in 2015 and only returning after the 14th general election last year
 - Mkini

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