PUTRAJAYA: Najib Razak had intentionally overlooked the source of funds that were deposited into his bank accounts and had no qualms about spending them, the Court of Appeal heard today.
Ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram said that even when the source of the funds in his accounts became the subject matter of official investigations, the appellant (Najib) continued to remain passive.
“He did not even attempt to make enquiries with AmBank or to lodge any police report on the funds deposited. When he was told the funds were from SRC, he again did not do anything,” Sithambaram said.
He said the trial court had found, firstly, that the prosecution had proven that the former prime minister had received RM42 million and, secondly, that the money was derived from an unlawful activity.
“Thirdly, that the appellant (Najib) had the requisite mental element to complete the commission of the offences under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds from Unlawful Activities Act 2001,” he said in his submission before a three-member bench chaired by Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil.
Sithambaram said trial judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali was correct to apply the doctrine of wilful blindness against Najib on the three money laundering charges.
He said Najib claimed not to know of SRC International funds entering his accounts because he believed donations, in excess of RM2 billion, were coming from the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia between 2011 and 2014.
“The only reason the appellant maintained his belief was because Jho Low (fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho) told him so and this cannot be believed of a man befitting his status as the then prime minister and finance minister,” he said.
Sithambaram said Najib claimed to have completely trusted what Jho Low said about the wish of King Abdullah to provide a personal donation to him, without making any verification with the monarch or Saudi officials.
The ad hoc prosecutor said Najib had issued 15 personal cheques amounting to RM10.7 million and had also spent RM466,330 in Honolulu, Hawaii, through his credit card to buy a Chanel watch as a birthday present for his wife Rosmah Mansor.
He said it was clear that Najib had utilised the funds received from SRC in full, based on the evidence adduced in the money trail and elaborated in the criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges.
“The expenditure by the appellant proves his knowledge of the RM42 million from SRC entering his personal bank accounts,” Sithambaram said, adding that Najib’s conduct also demonstrated clearly the application of the doctrine of wilful blindness under the anti-money laundering law.
Last July, Nazlan sentenced Najib to 12 years’ jail and ordered him to pay a RM210 million fine after finding him guilty on seven corruption charges in relation to RM42 million belonging to SRC International.
Najib was accused of abusing his power as prime minister by giving government guarantees on SRC International’s RM4 billion loan from the Retirement Fund Inc.
He was also slapped with three CBT and three money laundering charges in relation to RM42 million belonging to SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB.
The hearing continues.