PUTRAJAYA (December 8): The Court of Appeal, ruling that Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s abuse of power conviction was secure, declared that the SRC International Sdn Bhd project which had started as a national interest enterprise was ultimately become a national embarrassment.
Appeals court judge Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, head of the judiciary, said as Najib’s defense team argued through their (defense) witnesses the former Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, former Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad and former Secretary General of the Treasury Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar, the project was of national interest, the tribunal did not accept the argument.
“The general law is that the opinion of any person, even if that person is the former Attorney General, is irrelevant in any legal proceeding. an exception to that of an expert. “
To that end, Abdul Karim said the High Court judge was absolutely correct that Dzulkifli and Irwan’s opinion could not substitute for the evidence at his disposal to reach a fair and just decision.
No possibility of repaying the loan
“It would be rather absurd for the government to guarantee a loan to a legal entity linked to the government knowing full well that the legal person does not have the capacity to repay the loan or the service. said the best judge.
“The appellant (Najib) actively ensured that the loans from Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) went to SRC. However, once the funds were disbursed, the appellant became indifferent as to where the funds were and did not ask SRC as to what happened to the funds, not how they were. used.
“He even instructed the Second Minister of Finance (Tan Sri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah) to stay away from the CBC. This conduct of the appellant may be revealing of one thing, it is after the funds were secured by the CBC, over which he had overall control. he was free to use them for his personal benefit. “
“This was manifested by the flow of 42 million ringgit from the CBC to his personal accounts. It is not something that can be said to have been done in the national interest. no national interest here, just a national embarrassment, “the judge admonished.
Testimonies at the High Court revealed that as soon as loans of RM 2 billion each came from KWAP in August 2011 and February 2012, the bulk of the funds were immediately transferred to Swiss accounts and were not reviewed.
The SRC or Strategic Resources Company was created with the aim of securing alternative energy for the country, as stipulated in its memorandum of association.
Two Cabinet decisions led to KWAP loans
The Court of Appeal also agreed that there should only be one charge of abuse of authority in relation to KWAP loans granted between 2011 and 2012.
Abdul Karim quoted Kod Etika Bagi Anggota-Anggota Pentadbiran (Code of ethics for members of the administration) which requires members of the administration to ensure that no conflict of interest arises from the position they occupy in the public service.
If such a conflict arises, he said, a person must not only declare their interest but also leave the meeting and their absence from the recorded meeting.
“In the present case, the evidence shows that Najib was not only present but chaired the two Cabinet meetings held on August 17, 2011 and February 8, 2012 and was thus involved in Cabinet decisions to approve said government guarantees in favor of KWAP as verified by the then Deputy Chief Secretary (Cabinet) in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Mazidah Abdul Majid.
“She testified that in the first Cabinet decision (in August), the relevant documents and memorandum presented to Cabinet were declared to be from the Prime Minister and tabled by Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, then Minister of the Prime Minister’s Department, while that the second decision (February 2012) came from the Minister of Finance and it was signed by Najib himself, ”he added.
He said such conduct would militate against Najib and towards establishing the charge under section 23 (1) of Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 for abuse of power.
Abdul Karim said that the judiciary agreed with the High Court judge that, the role and involvement of Najib in the establishment of the SRC, the establishment grant, the KWAP loans, the agreement of The government’s guarantee as well as the ownership and governance structure of the CBC establish that it had an interest in the company.
“In light of the above, we find that all the factual requirements of the presumption under Article 23 (2) of the MACC Law have been established and Najib is presumed by law to have committed the offense of use his office for gratuity purposes under section 23 (1) of the same law.
“We believe that the learned trial judge was quite correct in concluding that the prosecution had proven the charge of abuse of power beyond a reasonable doubt. All in all, we find the condemnation [for abuse of power] is safe, ”said the judge of the Court of Appeal.
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