Saturday, January 22, 2022

‘By Allah, I did no wrong’: Najib takes Islamic oath yet again over RM42 million

The former prime minister insists he had no role in the transfer of funds from SRC International which judges slammed as a national embarrassment.

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Najib Razak has again taken an Islamic oath to claim innocence of the criminal charges linked to RM42 million in his private accounts, a day after the court dismissed his appeal against his conviction and sentence for seven counts of money laundering, criminal breach of trust and abuse of power.

The former prime minister said he never played any part in the transfer of the huge sum, which he claimed was money donated to him by the late Saudi monarch King Abdullah.

“As a Muslim, I say this in Allah’s name.

“Wallahi, wabillahi, watallahi that I never asked or instructed for anyone to transfer the RM42 million,” he said in a Facebook post, using Arabic phrases for a formal Islamic oath.

This is one of several times that the former prime minister has invoked the religious oath to deny accusations against him.

He took it twice during his trial last year. He also previously went to a mosque to declare his innocence in the brutal 2006 murder of Mongolian citizen Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Najib in his SRC International defence argued that he had no knowledge of the transactions into his personal accounts between 2014 and 2015, claiming also that he was a victim of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho.

But High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali who found him guilty and handed down his sentence last year said it was “too preposterous” for Najib as the prime minister and finance minister at the time to claim ignorance of the funds in his accounts.

The court also said Low had only carried out the tasks required by Najib.

On the four letters tendered by Najib’s defence team purportedly showing that a huge donation would be made to him from a certain “Saudi royalty”, the judge said this was “an elaborate but weak fabrication” and listed “10 problems” with the documents which the prosecution suggested were forged and an afterthought.

The court also agreed that SRC International was created as a vehicle to divert public funds into Najib’s pocket.

Court of Appeal judge Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil who led a three-man bench in upholding Najib’s conviction and sentence yesterday said the court agreed with the findings of the trial judge.

He also criticised the defence’s argument that loans totalling RM4 billion from the government’s Retirement Fund Inc to SRC International, from which the RM42 million to Najib originated, were approved in the name of national interest.

“There was no national interest when RM42 million was transferred into Najib’s accounts, only national embarrassment,” Karim said

Najib in his Facebook post said he would continue to maintain his innocence in the matter.

“An appeal will be made at the Federal Court, and I believe justice will be served,” he said.

“Perhaps this is a journey I was destined to make. I face it calmly, and I will continue to defend myself and uphold the truth in the courts of the world.”

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