Najib Trial Day 49 Angry Man Husni S Testimony Leads To Hearing Being Postponed



The criminal trial of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak involving the alleged misappropriation of funds from SRC International Sdn Bhd enters its 49th 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 HIGHLIGHTS'Angry man' Husni's testimony leads to hearing being postponedCourt erupts into laughter when Husni says Najib is 'always smiling'Husni tried to get MOF officer on SRC board to monitor it'Najib was autocratic when it came to SRC International'Only ex-SRC CEO didn't show up when summoned, Husni saysHusni says he was like an 'office boy' in SRC loan decisionNajib told me not to interfere in 1MDB - HusniHusni says he was not allowed to check on SRC investmentsSRC loan from KWAP: I raised my concerns with Najib, says HusniFormer minister Husni Hanadzlah to take the standNajib referred to as Optimus Prime, says witnessWitness could not confirm validity of BBM chat logs'Najib never lodged complaint on massive transfers into accounts'Jho Low was in contact with Najib over banking operations - witnessWitness took AmBank to Industrial Court over 2015 dismissalNo suspicions raised over Najib's AmBank accounts, says witnessDefence told to address legal issues before securing file as evidenceAmBank ex-manager denies covering up for Jho LowWitness disagrees Jho Low kept Najib in the dark over transfersCounsels request tomorrow's hearing to start after lunchThank you for following Malaysiakini's live report5pm - Thank you for following our live report today
'Angry man' Husni's testimony leads to hearing being postponed3.22pm - The testimony of "angry man" Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah leads to the postponement of tomorrow's hearing
Lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah applies for tomorrow's matter to be moved to Thursday, saying that they need to consult their client on how to approach the former second finance minister
"I have quickly checked (court documents and Husni's witness statement), it already indicated a certain serious contradiction
"But I will have to seek instruction from my client (Najib Abdul Razak), because this testimony is very much the testimony of an angry man against my client," he says
Shafee (photo) says the defence was taken by surprise by Husni's answers during the prosecution's examination-in-chief – especially in relation to what transpired regarding SRC International and the role of the finance minister
"I want to know in what way he (Husni) was told not to be involved (in 1MDB among others), and when he said to the extent he had no choice, like he had a gun to his head," he said
Shafee said the defence needs the whole day tomorrow to consult Najib about Husni's testimony
He also points out that tomorrow morning, there is a Federal Court hearing on Najib's bid to disqualify former federal court judge Gopal Sri Ram from prosecuting in the RM2.28 billion 1MDB trial
Prosecutor V Sithambaram raises no objection to the defence's postponement application. He adds that the prosecution also needs tomorrow to arrange documentation to assist in the speedy resolution of the trial
Nazlan then allows the postponement of tomorrow's hearing to Thursday at 9am.  Court erupts into laughter when Husni says Najib is 'always smiling'3.09pm - The whole court erupts in laughter when former second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah describes Najib Abdul Razak as "always smiling."He says this during examination in chief by deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Izzat Fauzan
Izzat: Can you identify Najib in court today
Husni: Ha... the one at the back there, always smiling
Husni tried to get MOF officer on SRC board to monitor it3pm - Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah testifies that he wanted to appoint then-Finance MInistry Investment Division secretary Mohd Isa Hussain onto the SRC International board in 2015
The former second finance minister tells the court that this was an effort to ensure due diligence and protect the government from wrongdoing
"This was part of our efforts, because there was no company under the Minister of Finance Inc that does not have a board member (from the ministry)
"This SRC International, it got an RM4 billion. Where did it go?"Husni then makes reference to some of SRC International's actions – including depositing its funds in Switzerland and Hong Kong, and investing in coal in Java and Mongolia – which he describes as unstructured
"This means it was not structured. Other MOF Inc subsidiaries, for example Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd, it makes houses
"But this one, what did it do? As someone who did not want the government to fail, we did not want to see wrongdoings in the government
"That is why I wanted a representative of MOF (in SRC International)," he says
'Najib was autocratic when it came to SRC International'2.55pm - Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak was autocratic in matters related to SRC International, Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah testifies
He says that despite being the second finance minister at the time, his role in matters concerning SRC International was merely to follow orders
When deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Izzat Fauzan asks him if he had studied SRC International's investments, Husni says that it was not something he could do, as he did not receive any documents related to the company
"How do I study (the company)? There were no documents whatsoever. Even its CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil did not want to see me
"There was only once when he came to my office, but he did not bring any documents. After that, he never met me again
"The work culture when it involved SRC International and 1MDB was totally different than the other companies (under the Finance Ministry)
Only ex-SRC CEO didn't show up when summoned, Husni says2.50pm - Former second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah tells the court that SRC International was the only GLC whose CEO did not show up even when summoned
Appearing upset when he relating this to the court, Husni says other officials, including those of higher stature than former SRC International CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil (photo), came to his office when he called them for a meeting
He says this when testifying under examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Izzat Fauzan on the approval for a government guarantee on the first RM2 billion from Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) to SRC International
"I believe that the decision was made by (then-premier) Najib Abdul Razak. Why do I say that? "All along, since the Terengganu Investment Authority, then 1MDB, and SRC International... I have never received any documents, I have never seen the officers
"The CEO did not come to see me even when I called him
"I'm telling you, My Lord, even the governor of Bank Negara came to see me. Much higher than the SRC International CEO
"Bursa Malaysia's Tajuddin Atan, and then banks, even Petronas, Azmi Abdul Aziz of Prasarana came
"But this one couldn't come," he says
Husni says he was like an 'office boy' in SRC loan decision2.45pm - Former second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah likened himself to an "office boy" in the decision to grant the government guarantee for the first RM2 billion loan to SRC International
Husni says this during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Izzat Fauzan
"In regards to the first loan (guarantee) of RM2 billion, why was it not run by me? Why not
"That is why I say that I was like a mere office boy when the decision was made," Husni says
A government guarantee was issued for the first RM2 billion tranche of the loan from Retirement Fund Inc (Kwap) to SRC International in late 2014
Najib told me not to interfere in 1MDB - Husni2.35pm - Former second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah testifies that he was told by then-prime minister Najib Abdul Razak not to interfere in 1MDB
Husni says this in reference to the 1MDB-PetroSaudi International Ltd joint venture, which he only heard about in late 2009
He says he then made his way to Najib's office in Putrajaya to raise concerns about the matter
"I told him that we cannot invest in the Petro Saudi-1MDB (joint venture) as the company (1MDB) was still new at oil exploration. If no oil is found, the investment money would be finished
"I said that 1MDB staff has no experience in the field of oil and gas, with me saying that Petronas has (experience in) oil and gas
"Najib told me that 'From today onwards, I do not want you to interfere in 1MDB,'" he says
Husni says he was not allowed to check on SRC investments2.25pm - The court hears from former second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah that Najib Abdul Razak did not approve his request to take Finance Ministry, Bank Negara and Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) officers to Switzerland
The trip was aimed at proving that SRC International funds frozen in the country belonged to KWAP
Husni says his attempts to get documents related to SRC International investments in Java, Mongolia, Switzerland and Hong Kong were also unsuccessful, despite a request made by his officer
"I learnt from Finance Ministry officers that a sum of RM4 billion, which is the total amount of loan from KWAP, was used in, among others, investment in the coal business in Java, investment in natural resources in Mongolia, and savings in banks in Switzerland and Hong Kong
"At that time, I was not referred to and was not given documents regarding SRC International and the investments, despite having through my officer requested for them from SRC
"I asked Mohd Isa Hussain, who was then the Investment Division secretary, to make a visit to Java to make sure the investment does exist there, but Isa did not go
SRC loan from KWAP: I raised my concerns with Najib, says Husni2.20pm - The court hears from former second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah that he had raised his concerns over SRC International's application for a large loan from the Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP)
Husni says he then went to meet then-prime minister Najib Abdul Razak after a cabinet meeting, where ministers were briefed by then-minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nor Mohamad Yakcop (photo) about SRC International's RM2 billion application
Husni did not specify whether the cabinet meeting was in 2011 or 2012, but it is believed this was in 2011 when SRC International first acquired its the first RM2 billion tranche of the loan from KWAP
He says that he queried Najib, who was also finance minister at the time, on the huge sum to be loaned on government guarantee to the then 1MDB subsidiary
Husni says he was informed by Najib that the company was needed to empower the country's electricity industry through government ownership of a company that invests in coal mining
"I then told Najib that coal mining should be left to the private sector instead of involvement by a government-owned company
"Najib then told me that only with government involvement that the electricity sector can be empowered through coal mining," he added
Husni Hanadzlah takes the stand2.12pm - As proceedings resume, 56th witness and former second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah takes the stand for examination-in-chief by the prosecution
Court breaks for lunch12.30pm - Court breaks for lunch. Proceedings to resume at 2pm
Former minister Husni Hanadzlah to take the stand12.15pm - The prosecution requests for an early lunch break after prosecutor V Sithambaram finishes his re-examination of witness Joanna Yu
Sithambaram tells the court that their next witness has gone to have lunch
He suggests for the court to resume at 2pm instead of the usual 2.30pm due to the early lunch
Sithambaram also tells the court that they will call former second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah (photo) as their next witness as well as recall a previous witness
Najib referred to as Optimus Prime, says witness12.12pm - Low Taek Jho referred to then-prime minister Najib Abdul Razak as 'Optimus Prime'
Former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu confirms this to prosecutor V Sithambaram during re-examination
Sithambaram is referring to BlackBerry Messenger chat logs between her and the fugitive businessperson
"I asked and was told it was the name of Optimus Prime, it meant (then) prime minister Najib," Yu says
The whole crowd breaks into laughter when Sithambaram remarks that as far as he knows, Optimus Prime is the supreme leader in the Transformers cartoon.Witness could not confirm validity of BBM chat logs11.45am - Former AmBank customer relationship manager Joanna Yu cannot confirm with 100 percent certainty the accuracy of Blackberry Messenger chat logs, including with fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho
She admits this during re-examination by prosecutor V Sithambaram
Sithambaram: Can you confirm 100 percent the correctness of all the chats
Yu: No
'Najib never lodged complaint on massive transfers into accounts'11.24am - Witness Joanna Yu agrees with prosecutor V Sithambaram that Najib Abdul Razak never lodged any complaints with AmBank on the massive transfers into his accounts
Sithambaram: These accounts involve large sums of money. Has there been any time any query from Najib on the conduct of the accounts
Yu: No, there never were ever any queries or complaints made
Sithambaram: When the accounts were closed, was there any lawsuit against the bank for wrongful utilisation of funds in the accounts
Yu: None
Jho Low was in contact with Najib over banking operations - witness 11am - Former AmBank customer relationship manager Joanna Yu believes that 1MDB-linked businessperson Low Taek Jho was in contact with former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak on the latter's bank accounts operations
Yu says that Najib should know the amounts transacted in his accounts as he kept issuing cheques
She adds that to the best of her knowledge, there were no complaints that the cheques from Najib's accounts were not issued by him
There were also no queries from Najib on the source of funds in the accounts as he kept issuing cheques, the witness says
Witness took AmBank to Industrial Court over 2015 dismissal10.40am - Former AmBank customer relationship manager Joanna Yu hauled her former employer to the Industrial Court over her dismissal in 2015
She reveals this when prosecutor V Sithambaram (photo) questions her during re-examination
Sithambaram: When AmBank asked you to leave, did you take the bank to the Industrial Court
Yu: I filed a complaint with the Industrial Court
Sithambaram: The case was called up there
Yu: There was a case mention
Sithambaram: Before the matter came up, there was a confidential agreement with no admission of liability between you and the bank, and this was recorded in (Industrial) Court
Yu: Yes
No suspicions raised over Najib's AmBank accounts, says witness10.38am - Former AmBank relationship manager Joanna Yu testifies that she was not suspicious about the way Najib Abdul Razak's accounts were operated
Under cross-examination by lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, she says that she was also not suspicious about where the funds remitted into Najib's accounts came from
She tells the court that although large amounts of funds were credited into these accounts, AmBank's Remittance Department informed her that all of the transactions had gone through the reporting system required by Bank Negara
Yu also admits that to the best of her knowledge as liaison for the accounts, the only time the accounts were flagged by Bank Negara was when they were overdrawn, which resulted in AmBank wanting to close the accounts
The defence then finishes their cross-examination of Yu
Prosecutor V Sithambaram then starts re-examining the witness
10.20am - Proceedings resume. Defence told to address legal issues before securing file as evidence 9.40am - Telling the court that he is reaching the end of his cross-examination of witness Joanna Yu, lawyer Harvinderjit Singh (photo) then requests for a financial document to be marked as evidence.It is learned that the document is a financial statement from Putra Perdana Bhd, which the defence used in their questioning of Yu yesterday regarding the 'reversal' of fund transfers from two of Najib Abdul Razak's accounts in 2014
The prosecution objects to the request, citing issues regarding fulfilment of clauses under the Evidence Act 1950
Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali tells the defence to address the legal issues first before securing permission to tender the documents as evidence
The court then takes a short break following requests by both the defence and prosecution to go through some documents and prepare for re-examination respectively
AmBank ex-manager denies covering up for Jho Low9.32am - Former AmBank customer relationship manager Joanna Yu (photo) denies covering up for fugitive financier Low Taek Jho
She also rejects lawyer Harvinderjit Singh's claim that she was contacted by the wanted businessperson over the last few days
Harvinderjit: You are trying to cover up for Low
Yu: No
Harvinderjit: You have been in communication with him over the past few days
Yu: No
Witness disagrees Jho Low kept Najib in the dark over transfers9.18am - Former AmBank customer relationship manager Joanna Yu disagrees that Low Taek Jho (photo) had kept Najib Abdul Razak in the dark over fund transfers to and from his bank accounts
She tells lawyer Harvinderjit Singh this when he cross-examines her over the fugitive businessperson's various actions related to Najib's AmBank accounts between 2011 and 2015
Harvinderjit: The various actions of Low were all designed to ensure Najib was never told of the accurate balance in the accounts
Yu: I disagree, but I do not know
Harvinderjit: Low's actions in regard to the accounts were designed to make Najib believe that there were sufficient funds in the accounts to issue checks
Yu: There may have been discussions, but I do not know (for sure)
Counsels request tomorrow's hearing to start after lunch9.11am - The hearing starts with defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh telling the court that the accused, Najib Abdul Razak, has to appear before the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya tomorrow morning
This is in relation to the former premier's bid to recuse Gopal Sri Ram from leading the prosecution in the 1MDB trial
This is supported by Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, who tells the court that it would be convenient if the proceedings tomorrow began at 2pm
Harvinderjit then proceeds with his cross-examination of former AmBank customer relationship manager Joanna Yu
9.09am - Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak enters the dock as proceedings begin. 9.01am - Najib (photo) enters the court and takes a seat in the front row of the public gallery
Also seen in court awaiting the beginning of proceedings are Attorney-General Tommy Thomas and deputy public prosecutors, as well as the accused's lawyer Harvinderjit Singh and other members of the defence team
A sense of urgency may inform the 49th day of Najib Abdul Razak’s RM42 million SRC International trial, following the Court of Appeal throwing out an appeal to postpone the RM2.28 billion 1MDB hearing yesterday.Prosecutors and defence lawyers now have only eight days to wrap up the SRC International trial before Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali. The 1MDB hearing before a separate high court will begin on Aug 19
Even though lead defence counsel Muhammad Shafee Abdullah announced yesterday that the appeal will be taken to the Federal Court, all eyes will remain on the pace of the testimony of former AmBank customer relationship manager Joanna Yu, who has been in the stand since July 22
With defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh informing Nazlan yesterday that he has around an hour's worth of questions for Yu, it is possible that the prosecution may yet have the opportunity to re-examine the 54th witness today
-Mkini

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