Sunday, August 1, 2021

Najib seeks bank documents for defence in 1MDB case

He says the documents which are vital to his trial were not made available to his defence team before his case began.

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Former prime minister Najib Razak is seeking a court order to compel the prosecution to produce several bank statements and other documents for his defence team in his RM2.3 billion 1MDB case.

In the notice of motion filed today at the High Court by his defence team led by Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Najib among others claimed that the documents were under the custody of the prosecution or other entities.

In an affidavit affirmed by Najib, 67, to support his application, the Pekan MP said the documents were vital and relevant to his 1MDB trial as they were not made available to his defence team before his case began.

He claimed that some of the statements and documents were linked to the companies believed to be related to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low and the family of former Bank Negara Malaysia governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

“Zeti is listed as a witness in the 1MDB trial. As such, the bank documents are very relevant to my defence and the cross-examination of Zeti and other prosecution witnesses pertaining to her credibility and her independence as she is the former governor of Bank Negara relevant to the period in relation to my charges,” he said.

Najib also said that the suppression of the bank documents had the effect of misrepresenting the truth and was a breach of his fundamental liberties as enshrined in the Federal Constitution and his right to a fair trial and equality before the law, as stated under Articles 5 and 8 of the constitution.

The documents he sought in his notice of motion include bank account statements for Aktis Capital Singapore Pte Ltd, Country Group Securities Public Company Ltd, ACME Time Ltd (BVI), Butamba Investments Ltd, and Central Holdings Ltd.

He is also seeking the companies’ certificates of incumbency, declarations of the identities of the companies’ beneficial owners, registers of members, registers of directors as well as correspondence between the banks and the companies in respect of their transactions, including emails, telegraphic transfers, remittance forms, payment advice, transaction reports, payment orders, credit advice and bank memos.

The application compels the revelation of the documents from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and Bank Negara Malaysia, or any other entities with custody of the documents.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib, when contacted, confirmed that the prosecution had received a copy of the application. Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah set March 26 for mention.

Sequerah said the court intends to continue the 1MDB trial in April if Najib’s appeal in his SRC International case does not take place at the Court of Appeal.

He fixed April 19 to 22 for the 1MDB trial to resume in the event that the appeal hearing is vacated.

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