Najib Trial Day 45 Jho Low Called Najib Big Boss Witness Tells The Court




The criminal trial of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak involving the alleged misappropriation of funds from SRC International Sdn Bhd enters its 45th 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 HIGHLIGHTSJho Low called Najib 'big boss' - witnessI am only a 'ciku', Nik Faisal tells AmBank ex-managerJho Low 'desperate' to stop Najib's cheques from bouncing - witnessJho Low controlled Najib's 3 AmBank accounts, says witnessI spoke more with Jho Low about Najib's accounts - witnessBanker refused to follow Jho Low’s orders to destroy chequebooks'Pie' and 'satay' - how Jho Low refers to US dollar, ringgit transactionsJho Low seems to be decision-maker with Najib's accountsMoney flowing into Najib's account not hidden from authoritiesRM1.13b transferred into Najib's account between 2011 and 2013'Najib, in his state of mind, believed RM42m to be a donation’Witness confirms US$100m transferred into Najib's account in 2011Cross-examination of former AmBank manager Yu resumesDefence will raise purported irrelevance of witness testimonyNajib admitted to receiving RM42m in his bank accounts - witnessThank you for following Malaysiakini's live report5.39pm - Thank you for following our live report today
Proceedings adjourn5.18pm - Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali allows proceedings to adjourn for the day and to resume at 9am on Wednesday
Nazlan does this after being informed by defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh that he still has at least another day and a half's worth of cross-examining to do on former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu
Jho Low called Najib 'big boss' - witness4.55pm: Former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu testifies that fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho referred to former premier Najib Abdul Razak as "Big Boss"
She tells lawyer Harvinderjit Singh this during cross-examination over a BlackBerry message Low (photo) sent her on May 30, 2014

Harvinderjit: On May 30, 2014, Low sent you this: '50 American Pies incoming.'Yu: He said 'big boss' called
Harvinderjit: Who was 'big boss'
Yu: The account holder (Najib)
Yu later makes the whole court burst into laughter when she remarks "I am not sure who is bigger boss."I am only a ‘ciku’, Nik Faisal tells AmBank ex-manager4.45pm - The court hears from former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu that Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil (photo), who was mandated to operate former premier Najib Abdul Razak's AmBank accounts, had told her that he was only a small fry

Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, she agrees that Nik Faisal had told her in a BlackBerry message that he was only a “ciku”
Harvinderjit: At 10.13am (Feb 15, 2015), Nik's message to you: "I ciku only mah." He is telling you he is nobody
Yu: That's what he said, but I didn't agree with him
In his attempt to establish that Nik Faisal was merely following orders from fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho in managing Najib's bank accounts, Harvinderjit also tries to establish that Nik Faisal had insisted that Yu inform Low about insufficient funds in said accounts
Harvinderjit: On Jan 16 (2015), at 9am he (Nik) told you that somebody needs to know that funds are needed
Yu: Yes
Harvinderjit: He is telling you that there was a need to tell Low that RM3.5 million is needed in the account
Yu: Yes
Jho Low 'desperate' to stop Najib's cheques from bouncing - witness 4.30pm - Former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu testifies that fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho seemed desperate to prevent cheques from former premier Najib Abdul Razak's accounts from bouncing
She concurs with Harvinderjit (photo), who poses her a question based on the chat logs between her and Low in Oct 2014

Harvinderjit: In 2014, (a message from) Low to you stated, "Please clear cheques. Do not bounce cheques whatever you do. Funds are wired"
Yu: Yes
Harvinderjit: Then on the same date, he messaged, "Aiyoh, cannot reject lah. Need to clear. Just hold on first". All of that happened (on the same day)
Yu: Yes
Harvinderjit: There was some form of desperation in this message
Yu: I told him the cut-off time was 5.30pm
Harvinderjit: (Low was) so desperate
Yu: I believe so
Earlier, the court had heard how Najib's accounts were constantly overdrawn, often forcing Yu to contact Low or account mandate holder Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil to resolve the issue
Jho Low controlled Najib's 3 AmBank accounts, says witness4.20pm - It was businessperson Low Taek Jho who was in control of Najib Abdul Razak's three AmBank accounts ending with the numbers 906, 880 and 694, the court hears from Joanna Yu
Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, the former AmBank relationship manager agrees that this was the case based on communications regarding the accounts between her and Low
Yu also agrees that Low had told her that he was in communication with the former premier as the account holder, although she could not verify whether this was true
I spoke more with Jho Low about Najib's accounts - witness3.24pm - Former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu (photo) agrees with the defence’s assertion that she communicated more with fugitive businessperson  Low Taek Jho than SRC International CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil about Najib Abdul Razak's accounts

She agrees with lawyer Harvinderjit Singh on the matter, despite Nik Faisal being the mandate holder for Najib's accounts
Harvinderjit: What you cannot disagree with is (that) the frequency (of communication) between you and Low far outweighed the communication between you and Nik Faisal on Najib's accounts. Agree
Yu: Agree
Banker refused to follow Jho Low’s orders to destroy chequebooks3.10pm - Former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu said she had refused to follow fugitive financier Low Taek Jho's instructions to destroy old chequebooks linked to ex-premier Najib Abdul Razak's three current accounts with the bank in 2013
The 54th witness tells lawyer Harvinderjit Singh that despite instructions from Low, she merely passed the old chequebooks to the Jalan Raja Chulan branch of AmBank
Harvinderjit: Having returned the old chequebooks to you (in Aug 2013), Jho Low instructed you to destroy all old chequebooks
Yu: That was the instruction
Harvinderjit: But you did not do it
Yu: Just passed it to the branch
Harvinderjit: You did not actually destroy the chequebooks
Yu: I would not destroy chequebooks
Harvinderjit: Why
Yu: There is an order with implication to destroy, but why should we? Just take it to the branch
Harvinderjit's questions are based on BlackBerry chat logs between Yu and Low in Aug 2013 in relation to Najib's three current accounts ending with the numbers 880, 906, and 898
Proceedings resume2.42pm - Proceedings resume after the lunch break
Court breaks for lunch1pm - Court breaks for lunch. Proceedings to resume at 2.30pm
'Pie' and 'satay' - how Jho Low refers to US dollar, ringgit transactions12:54pm - Low Taek Jho used 'pie' and 'satay' to refer to US dollar and ringgit transactions, testifies Joanna Yu
Harvinderjit: Why use these nomenclatures of 'pie' and 'satay'
Yu: That is what Low used (in the BlackBerry messenger chats)
Harvinderjit: 'Pie' is US dollar, 'satay' is ringgit
Yu: YesIn the BlackBerry chat logs being referred to, the term 'pie' and 'satay' tend to occur especially in relation to the massive inflow of foreign money into Najib Abdul Razak's account
Jho Low seems to be decision-maker with Najib's accounts12.25pm - Former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu says fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho seems to be the person issuing instructions on Najib Abdul Razak's bank accounts
Yu says that SRC International CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, the accounts' mandate holder, is merely seen to as formalising the instructions
Money flowing into Najib's account not hidden from authorities11.55am - Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu says there was "nothing to hide" in regards to the massive inflow of funds into then-premier Najib Abdul Razak's (photo) account between 2011 and 2013

Haverderjit questions Yu if she made any efforts to hide the transactions from 2011 to 2013 from the authorities
Yu: There was nothing to hide
Harvinderjit: A lot of people knew about this amount
Yu: The relevant department handling the current account, the bosses, they knew
Harvinderjit: If what (former AmBank managing director) Cheah (Tek Kuang) told you was true, even the (then) Bank Negara governor
Yu: Yes
RM1.13b transferred into Najib's account between 2011 and 201311.45am - The court hears from Joanna Yu, a former AmBank relationship manager, that an account belonging to former premier Najib Abdul Razak received US$369.99 million in several transactions between 2011 and Jan 10, 2013
She confirms that the amount is equivalent to RM1.136 billion, in response to defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh's question on the total amount of foreign funds transferred into Najib's account ending in 694
'Najib, in his state of mind, believed RM42m to be a donation'11.15am - Deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram raises his concern over the defence's line of questioning on AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu
Sithambaram says defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh has been asking Yu to confirm banking transactions related to Najib Abdul Razak's AmBank account ending 694 that took place before 2013
The deputy public prosecutor questions the relevance of this, as the charges against Najib concern the RM42 million that went into two other accounts opened in 2013
"Perhaps my learned friend can inform relevancy. Otherwise, it would be waste of time," says Sithambaram

Harvinderjit counters that the defence has managed to establish a series of transactions where fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho was communicating with Yu in regards to funds transferred into Najib's accounts
He says the court should look into the transactions holistically from the time Najib's first account was opened until the closure of all his accounts
This, again, prompts Sithambaram to question the relevancy of the 2011 transactions to the current case
"This money... was used up well before the charges. Where is the relevance?" asks Sithambaram
Harvinderjit replies that the money in Najib's new accounts is related to the current charges, as it appeared to have originated from the same source as the previous transactions in 2011
"Even if (the money was) used up, that is not the point. The point is, my client in his mind (thinks that the money he spent) was a donation, then this is relevant
"His state of mind, this is where we are going with this," says Harvinderjit
Witness confirms US$100m transferred into Najib's account in 201111am - Joanna Yu tells the court that US$100 million was transferred into Najib Abdul Razak's AmBank current account ending 694 in 2011
Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, the former AmBank relationship manager testifies that the money was received in four tranches of US$10 million, US$10 million, US$50 million and US$30 million
She also confirms there were corresponding BlackBerry Messenger chats with fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho on these transactions
Cross-examination of former AmBank manager Yu resumes10.33am - 54th witness and former AmBank Relationship Manager Joanna Yu takes the stand for the resumption of cross-examination by lawyer Harvinderjit Singh
Defence will raise purported irrelevance of witness testimony9.57am - Lead defence lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (photo) informs the court that the defence will later submit that lawyer Ranjit Singh's testimony is irrelevant to Najib Abdul Razak's current RM42 million criminal case

Shafee says this prior to defence lawyer Harvinderjit Singh's cross-examination the 55th witness
In turn, deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram replies that the prosecution disagrees with this and will later counter submit that the oral evidence is relevant
Earlier, Ranjit, who had acted for ex-MCA president Ling Liong Sik in a suit against him by Najib, testifies that former prime minister had admitted in the suit that RM42 million flowed was deposited into his bank accounts
Najib admitted to receiving RM42m in his bank accounts - witness9.48am - Lawyer Ranjit Singh told the court that during Najib Abdul Razak's suit against former MCA president Ling Liong Sik, the premier admitted that not only was RM42 million deposited into his accounts, but that he had also received US$700 million
The 55th witness tells deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram that Najib's statement was made in an affidavit responding to Ling's defence and counterclaim back in February 2016
Ranjit says Najib in his response to Ling's defence and counterclaim, had conceded that RM42 million went into his accounts, but denied any knowledge that the funds were channelled via two intermediaries, Gandingan Mentari and Ihsan Perdana
He says around 2015, the Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report reported that the RM42 million flowed into Najib's accounts via the two intermediaries
The lawyer also says that Najib, in his affidavit in relation to the suit, replied that the US$700 million which was also deposited in his accounts from an overseas source was a personal donation
Ranjit, who acted for Ling in the suit, says that the matter was later settled with both Najib and Ling withdrawing their suit and counterclaim with no liberty to file afresh
Proceedings begin with 55th witness taking the stand9.21am - Ranjit Singh testifies he had represented former MCA president Ling Liong Sik in a suit filed by Najib
9.17am - Deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram informs the court that the 55th witness, lawyer Ranjit Singh, will take the stand today for examination-in-chief, instead of the 54th witness, former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu
9.15am - Najib Abdul Razak enters the dock as proceedings begin. Najib arrives in court9.07am - Accused Najib Abdul Razak arrives in court and takes a seat at the front row of the public gallery
Awaiting the beginning of proceedings are Najib's lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and other members of the defence
Also present are Attorney-General Tommy Thomas and other deputy public prosecutors
Attention today will be on the approach adopted by the defence in the cross-examination of former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu at former premier Najib Abdul Razak's RM42 million SRC International trial today
As proceedings before Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali enter the 45th day, the defence will have benefited from going through a trove of BlackBerry chats made available to them on Thursday last week
On Thursday, deputy public prosecutor V Sithambaram informed the court that the prosecution had provided the defence with the chat logs, which the latter previously said contained recorded conversations related to Najib's seven charges of abuse of power, graft, and money laundering
Yu, the 54th prosecution witness, delivered a series of critical testimonies last week
She said that fugitive financier Low Taek Jho had asked her to hide Najib’s identity in the former premier's account statements with AmBank in 2011. Yu also testified that she refused to delete her chat history despite being asked by Low to do so, and that Najib’s accounts were closed in 2015 due to red flags and bad press over the allegedly large transfers of foreign currency into the accounts. - Mkini



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