Najib Trial Day 42 I Was Asked To Leave After Bank Negara Raid Ex Ambank Officer




The criminal trial of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak involving the alleged misappropriation of funds from SRC International Sdn Bhd enters its 42nd 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 information on judge, prosecution and defence teamKEY HIGHLIGHTSI was asked to leave after Bank Negara raid - ex-AmBank officer'Jho Low was go-to person when Najib's accounts were low on funds'DPP calls defence lawyer 'pathetic' after being termed 'pedantic'Be more gentle with the witness, defence lawyer toldCourt dismisses objection to the use of draft witness statementMACC cannot prevent release of bank docs to Najib, court rulesProsecution attempts to prevent references to untendered evidenceCourt to rule whether MACC abused its power with Najib's bank docs'Odd creature' - Shafee pans AG's bid to have Najib apologise for FB postsNajib gets a birthday surprise outside courtProceedings resume4.30pm - The hearing resumes after the break
Court adjourns for break4.10pm - Court adjourns for a short break
I was asked to leave after Bank Negara raid - ex-AmBank officer3.45pm - Witness Joanna Yu (photo) says she was asked to leave AmBank in 2015 due to the pressure that followed a Bank Negara raid
The former AmBank relationship manager agrees with lawyer Harvinderjit Singh's assertion that she was asked to leave due to her involvement with the accounts of then-prime minister Najib Abdul Razak
The court previously heard that on July 6, 2015, the Jalan Raja Chulan branch of AmBank was raided by Bank Negara, which seized documents related to Najib's accounts, among others
Yu says that she read in the papers that AmBank was fined over its failure to file a suspicious transaction report (STR)
Yu: I left in 2015. I read in the newspaper that they (AmBank) were fined. I was asked to leave
Harvinderjit: Was it due to your involvement with Najib's accounts
Yu: They (AmBank) were put under a lot of pressure
At this juncture, deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram stands up and reminds Harvinderjit that Yu has signed a confidentiality agreement. The defence lawyer then agrees not to pursue the matter any further
Current and former bank staff are required to sign non-disclosure agreements related to banking operations. Breaching this NDA may subject them to stiff penalties
'Jho Low was go-to person when Najib's accounts were low on funds'3.30pm - Former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu tells the court that 1MDB-linked businessperson Low Taek Jho (photo) was her go-to person when Najib Abdul Razak's accounts had insufficient funds to carry out transactions
Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, Yu says Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil was her contact in cases where funds only needed to be transferred between Najib's three AmBank accounts
This is because Nik Faisal, the former SRC International CEO, could instruct such transfers as he was the mandate holder for Najib's accounts
Yu tells the court that in cases where she could not get hold of Nik Faisal, she would contact Low
Harvinderjit: So my point is this, I'll put it this way. Your first point of contact with regards to account overdrawn (situations) was Low first? Agree
Yu: Not entirely
Harvinderjit: Which part don't you agree with
Yu: If there are funds (but they are) just in different accounts, we would contact Nik Faisal. No need for anybody else. He can instruct transfers (between the accounts)
Harvinderjit: (So you contacted Low when) either (the accounts) had not enough balance, or when you could not contact Nik Faisal
Joanna: Yes
DPP calls defence lawyer 'pathetic' after being termed 'pedantic'3.24pm - The atmosphere in court heats up as defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh calls deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram "pedantic."Sithambaram (photo) replies by calling Harvinderjit "pathetic."The exchange takes place after Harvinderjit's grilling of former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu
When Sithambaram objects to the witness being cut off as she is answering questions, Harvinderjit calls him "pedantic."Sithambaram: You are pathetic
Harvinderjit: Excuse me? Nazlan tells both Harvinderjit and Sithambaram to "avoid that kind of description in this court."Be more gentle with the witness, defence lawyer told3.14pm - Deputy public prosecutor Budiman Lutfi Mohamed objects to defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh's (photo) line of cross-examination – specifically, his cutting off of former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu's attempts to answer his questions
"Perhaps counsel (Harvinderjit) should be more gentle with the witness," Budiman says
Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali then reminds Yu to only provide 'yes' and 'no' answers Harvinderjit's questions, unless the lawyer seeks further clarification
Yu is being questioned over differences in the draft and tendered versions of her witness statement
Earlier, Nazlan dismissed the prosecution's objection to the draft witness statement being referenced during cross-examination
Court dismisses objection to the use of draft witness statement2.50pm - Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali dismisses the prosecution's objection to the use of a draft version of a statement from 54th witness Joanna Yu
In his ruling, Nazlan notes that the objection was based on Section 402B of the Criminal Procedure Code on the admissibility of unsigned documents as evidence
He says, however, that Section 402B is not applicable here, as the defence was not attempting to admit the draft witness statement as evidence, but only to use it in the cross-examination
MACC cannot prevent release of bank docs to Najib, court rules2.45pm - The court rules that MACC cannot prevent former premier Najib Abdul Razak from obtaining copies of his bank documents from AmBank
Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali (photo) says that there are no provisions in the law, including the MACC Act 2009 and Financial Services Act 2013, that provide the commission with the power to do so
Nazlan adds that the prosecution is not affected by the bank providing said documents, and that there is nothing to stop the MACC from seizing the originals in the course of their investigations
"To ensure integrity and a fair trial process, which includes allowing fair preparation of defence, the MACC should not prevent the defence from getting documents," he says.  Proceedings resume2.44pm - Proceedings resume after the lunch break
Court breaks for lunch1pm - Court breaks for lunch. Proceedings to resume at 2.30pm
Prosecution attempts to prevent references to untendered evidence12.50pm - The trial continues with Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali hearing a third application. The prosecution is applying to prevent any reference to documents that have not been tendered as evidence in the court
The application was made yesterday, after the defence wanted to refer former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu (photo) to a draft witness statement, which differs from the one she read in court
After hearing submissions, Nazlan says he will deliver his ruling after the lunch break
Court to rule whether MACC abused its power with Najib's bank docs12.15pm - Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali will make a ruling after the lunch break on whether the MACC abused its power by directing AmBank to check with it first before handing over documents to Najib Abdul Razak
Najib's lead counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah argues that MACC has no power under the law to prevent his client from accessing documents related to his own bank accounts
Moreover, he says, since the originals are already with the commission, there is no danger of the documents being manipulated or destroyed
However, deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram argues that the MACC is empowered to issue directions to AmBank, as the matter is still under investigation
Sithambaram adds that the matter is academic, since the bank had already shared the documents with Najib with the approval of MACC
Shafee disagrees, and says that the directive still stands. He argues that this could still have an impact on the preparations of Najib's defence
Last week, the court heard that Najib was informed in a May 15 letter that AmBank needed to check with the MACC before handing over documents related to his accounts
The former premier has since been allowed to access said documents
'Odd creature' - Shafee pans AG's bid to have Najib apologise for FB posts 11.30am - Proceedings kick off with Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali hearing three applications
The first is on the prosecution's bid to have former premier Najib Abdul Razak apologise for Facebook posts that are said to have touched on trial-related matters
Both sides give short submissions on whether the posts constitute wrongdoing on Najib's part
Lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (photo) argues that an apology would be tantamount to an admission of wrongdoing, although none has been established against his client yet
Shafee also terms the submission from Attorney-General Tommy Thomas – that the Facebook posts are sub judice in nature, but not in contempt of court – an "odd creature."Continuing with the analogy, the lawyer says that sub judice is a "subspecies" of contempt
Thomas then seeks direction from the court on whether the prosecution needs to file a formal application for an order to be issued against Najib
Nazlan says that this would be a better option, as the defence has not taken up the offer to apologise
Najib enters the dock11.19am - Najib enters the dock as proceedings begin
Also seen among the defence lawyers is lead counsel, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah
11.04am - Accused Najib Abdul Razak enters the courtroom and takes a seat at the front row of the public gallery
Earlier this morning, the former premier withdrew his appeal against the allegedly defective SRC International charges at the Court of Appeal
Also seen in court are Attorney-General Tommy Thomas and other members of the prosecution, as well as Najib's counsel Harvinderjit Singh and other members of the defence
Najib gets a birthday surprise outside court11am - Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex, and gets a warm birthday greeting from about 30 of his supporters, who had been waiting in the lobby since early this morning
Carrying a chocolate cake, the supporters break out into a rendition of 'Allah Selamatkan Kamu' as soon as Najib steps out of his black Proton Perdana
Among those present is MIC deputy president M Saravanan
Najib is 66 today
Former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu (below) is expected to face a barrage of questions from the defence on the 42nd day of former premier Najib Abdul Razak's RM42 million SRC International trial
This follows the 54th witness’ series of revelations during yesterday’s hearing
Yu's testimony revealed the extent of fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho’s role in the transfer of millions of ringgit into Najib’s AmBank accounts between 2014 and 2015. The witness said Low could even nudge Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, then-SRC International CEO and the mandate holder of Najib's accounts, to attend to issues of overdrawing, among others
She also testified how it was Low that first contacted her in 2011 over Najib's accounts with AmBank, and who had sought for then-managing director Cheah Tek Kuang to personally facilitate the opening of these accounts
Previously, the defence zoomed in on the role of purported "rogue bankers" in the transfer of the RM42 million into Najib’s accounts, which form the subject matter of the accused’s seven charges of abuse of power, corruption and money laundering
Proceedings before Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali are expected to start later than usual – around 10.30am – because Najib needs to attend to a Court of Appeal matter in Putrajaya. His team is withdrawing an appeal related to the allegedly defective charges in the SRC International case
- Mkini

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