KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — Penang-born financier Low Taek Jho and former CEO of SRC International Sdn Bhd Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil met the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in 2015 and even promised full cooperation if the case ever went to trial.
However, both men never made good on their word, MACC Senior Assistant Commissioner Rosli Hussain told the High Court in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trial for misappropriation of RM42 million from the fund today.
The prosecution’s 57th and final witness in the ongoing SRC International court case said the MACC accepted the word of both the man known globally as Jhow Low and Nik Faisal, which was why it decided against issuing a bail bond for them four years ago.
“My investigators managed to locate Nik Faisal and we took his statement on October 17, 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia, and once again at the end of 2015 also in Jakarta.
“The MACC also managed to record the statement of Jho Low on November 27, 2015, when met in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.
“Both of them had their statements recorded and had also given their commitment, so the MACC was confident they would return to Malaysia and cooperate with the proceedings of this trial, and because of this we did not put a bail bond on both of them,” he said.
Rosli said the MACC applied to the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) for a Red Notice to be issued against Low and Nik Faisal when the duo went missing in May last year.
The MACC investigating officer had earlier disclosed in court that Low left Malaysia on May 29, 2015, while Nik Faisal flew out of the country on May 7, 2018, two days before the 14th general elections in which the Pakatan Harapan coalition bested Barisan Nasional and ended its six-decade government.
“Official information from the Immigration Department showed that for Jho Low, his last movement was traced through the Subang International Airport, where he departed through Terminal 3 on May 29, 2015.
“As for Nik Faisal, his last movement was traced to him departing through the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on May 7, 2018,” Rosli said under questioning from Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Ishak Mohd Yusoff.
Over the course of the trial, communications between Low, Nik Faisal, and AmBank account relationship manager Joanna Yu Ging Ping discussing transactions concerning Najib’s personal current bank accounts were revealed in court.
Blackberry Messenger chats between the trio, obtained from Yu’s seized Blackberry device, were scrutinised in court, with the banker having agreed that Low had to some degree dictated the cash flow in and out of Najib’s accounts.
In today’s trial, Rosli also verified documents that his investigators had obtained from Bank Negara Malaysia concerning Najib’s implicated bank accounts back in 2015.
Rosli confirmed that the MACC had asked the Immigration Department to put Low and Nik Faisal on its travel blacklist on May 14 last year, and subsequent applications to have their passports cancelled after their whereabouts could not be established.
Rosli is the final witness to take the stand in the ongoing trial, which is scheduled to end this Friday.
Najib is currently on trial seven charges of alleged abuse of position, money-laundering and criminal breach of trust over RM42 million of funds from SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
During the course of the trial, witnesses have testified that Retirement Fund (Incorporated) granted a total of RM4 billion in loans in August 2011 and March 2012 to SRC International, with money allegedly flowing through other companies before being transferred into Najib’s accounts.
The trial resumes before High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali tomorrow morning.