Sunday, September 26, 2021

Najib had absolute power in SRC, appeals court told

Ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram says this was provided for in the company's constitution.

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The Court of Appeal was told today that Najib Razak had absolute power over SRC International Sdn Bhd, including in hiring and firing its directors, as the company’s constitution allowed it.

Ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram submitted that a provision in SRC International’s memorandum and articles of association stated that nobody could be appointed as director without the blessing of the then-prime minister.

Sithambaram said this before a three-member bench led by judge Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil in the hearing of Najib’s appeal against his conviction and jail sentence for the misappropriation of RM42 million in SRC International funds.

The other two judges on the bench were Has Zanah Mehat and Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.

Sithambaram: We are saying that Najib had the power in hiring and firing the SRC (directors).

Karim: Not the board of directors?

Sithambaram: No.

The prosecutor also said Najib was the “controlling mind” of the company in his capacity as the prime minister, finance minister and adviser emeritus of SRC International at the time.

“The board acted on the instruction of Najib through SRC CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil who was the ‘mountain’ behind the appellant (Najib),” he added.

Sithambaram added that former SRC International chairman Ismee Ismail and the company’s director Suboh Md Yassin had testified on Najib’s authority during the trial at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

He said Najib was involved in SRC International as early as 2011 when the company was incorporated as a private limited company.

Sithambaram said the company constitution stated that Najib must be referred to if certain key decisions were to be made.

The prosecutor added that the company first became a subsidiary of 1MDB and was later placed under the Ministry of Finance Incorporated.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court on July 28 last year sentenced Najib to 12 years’ jail and fined him RM210 million after finding him guilty on seven charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of position involving RM42 million in SRC International funds.

The hearing of the appeal continues.

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