Will ex-PM Najib Razak be asked to enter his defence plea in the SRC International trial or will he be given the benefit of the doubt?
The prosecution and defence wrapped up their submissions yesterday, with the prosecutors saying millions of ringgit went in and out of Najib’s account during the entire period the offences were committed and that the politician knew very well the transactions took place.
However, the defence team of Najib Razak expressed optimism with Muhammad Shafee Abdullah saying he was hoping for a full acquittal, or at the very least, that some charges would be dropped.
A lawyer in Najib’s defence team Farhan Read, said there should be an acquittal of Najib without his defence being called as there was nothing to show he had knowledge of offences that were committed.
“The smoking gun is missing in this case,” he said.
He submitted that his client had no guilty knowledge of the offences or there was no dishonesty on Najib’s end concerning SRC International operations, adding that it did not make sense for Najib to hijack the money that he would have sent all over the world only to bank it into his own personal account after all.
He said Najib is accused of doing all this with full knowledge of Bank Negara before spending the millions banked in his account openly.
“What kind of a fool would do that?”
He said Najib could not be asked why his ‘partner’ Jho Low, the alleged 1MDB mastermind on the run, did what he did.
“We can’t ask him questions on why Jho Low did this and that. We are dealing with a con man here…how are we to read his mind.
“We don’t know whether he was hooking and fishing or fishing and hooking.”
Nevertheless, lead prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram said the prosecution was confident it had proven its case against Najib on all seven charges.
He said the prosecution hopes Najib will be asked to enter his defence since the prosecution was not relying on hollow submissions to make its case against the accused.
He said the prosecution had witnesses and a host of contemporaneous documents to prove the charges against Najib.
“It is our submission that the entire defence taken by the accused was an after thought. The money that went in and out of his account during the entire period the offences committed was well within his knowledge.
“To only now, during the trial, say it was Jho Low (fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho) who operated his account is not credible and far-fetched…It is unthinkable for the accused not to have known,” he said.
“Such an excuse is preposterous.”
High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali will decide on Nov 11 whether Najib should be called to enter his defence in the SRC International case which saw a total of 57 witnesses called by the prosecution to testify in the trial which began in April.
Najib, 66, is accused of committing one charge of abuse of power, three charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and three charges of money laundering and was charged for the abuse of allegation with using his position as PM and Finance Minister to commit bribery worth RM42 million and was involved in a decision on behalf of the government to provide government guarantees for loans from the Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) to SRC International amounting to RM4 billion.
The ex-PM faces a maximum 20-years jail and fine for the offence. -/TISG