Najib trial: Opening speech of AG Tommy Thomas

Najib trial: Opening speech of AG Tommy Thomas

May it please Your Lordship,

It is my duty and privilege to open the first trial in our courts against a former Prime Minister, who for nearly a decade, occupied the most powerful office in the land and wielded near absolute power, which carries with it enormous responsibility, which my office intends to discharge in order to establish that the Accused is guilty of the seven (7) charges that he is facing before Your Lordship.

The Accused during his entire period in office as Prime Minister, at which time these offences were committed, simultaneously held the office of Minister of Finance, thereby combining maximum political power and control of the nation’s purse. In holding the office of the Prime Minister, and thus the nation’s highest elected public officer and Head of Government, the highest trust was reposed by our people in the Accused.  In such circumstances, the law demands the highest standards of care in the discharge by the Accused of his duties and obligations as trustee of public offices.  

Not being satisfied with the holding of the twin positions of Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Accused was also appointed the Chairman of the Board of Advisors of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (“1MDB”) and Advisor Emeritus in its fully owned subsidiary, SRC International Sdn. Bhd. (“SRC International”). A common feature of both companies was that the true power in directing and managing their affairs did not lie with the Board of Directors, as is required by law and is the universal practice wherever companies carry on business, but in the person of the Accused by virtue of his holding these two positions.  

The operation of Article 8(1) of the Federal Constitution that “all persons are equal before the law” is amply demonstrated by this trial.  A former Prime Minister is charged under due process in the ordinary court of the land, like any other Accused.  The Accused is not above the law and his prosecution and this trial should serve as precedents for all future holders of this august office.

My Lord,

This trial is the first of many kleptocracy-1MDB-linked prosecutions. As required under Section 179 of the Criminal Procedure Code, I will state briefly the nature of the offences charged and the evidence by which the Prosecution proposes to prove the guilt of the Accused.

In the instant prosecution, the Accused is charged for the following offences –

  1. One (1) charge under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009 for abuse of position;
  2. Three (3) charges under Section 409 of the Penal Code for criminal breach of trust;
  3. Three (3) charges under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering,
  4. Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 for money laundering; and

To prove the prosecution case beyond a reasonable doubt, the Prosecution will be relying on direct and circumstantial evidence, both oral and documentary, to prove that the Accused, on the dates, times and manner as contained in the charges, is guilty of each of the charges against him.

One (1) charge under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009 for abuse of position

For the charge under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009, evidence will establish that the Accused at all material times, as an officer of a public body, to wit, as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, used his office and/or position to obtain for himself a gratification of RM42 million. Evidence will abundantly establish that the Accused was directly involved in the decision on behalf of the government of Malaysia to give government guarantees for the loans amounting to RM4 billion received by SRC International Sdn Bhd from Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) (“KWAP”).

In proving the ingredients of Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009, evidence – oral, documentary and/or circumstantial, will be led by the prosecution to establish the following –

  • Proposed establishment of SRC International Sdn Bhd;
  • Proposed setting-up grant of RM3 billion;
  • SRC International’s request for a government loan for RM3.95 billion;
  • The appointment of SRC International’s Board of Directors, and the appointment of one Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil as CEO of SRC International;
  • Matters that led to the approval of the Government of Malaysia through the Ministry of Finance for the issuance of a RM2 billion government guarantee in favour of SRC International;
  • Matters that led to the approval of the Government of Malaysia through the Ministry of Finance for the issuance of a further RM2 billion government guarantee in favour of SRC International;
  • Monies totalling RM42 million, sourced from SRC International, were channelled through the company accounts of Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd (a wholly-owned subsidiary of SRC International Sdn Bhd) and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd (purportedly appointed as SRC International’s corporate social responsibility partner);
  • The Accused, between 17 August 2011 and 8 February 2012, as a result of the aforesaid, had received as gratification the said monies totalling RM42 million into his AmPrivate Banking-1MY no. 211-202-201188-0 and AmPrivate Banking-MY no. 211-202-201190-6 bank accounts.

Three (3) charges under Section 409 of the Penal Code for criminal breach of trust

For the charges under Section 409 of the Penal Code, evidence will establish that the Accused at all material times, as agent, to wit, as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and Advisor Emeritus of SRC International, whilst entrusted with monies belonging to SRC International, committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million belonging to SRC International.

In proving the ingredients of Section 409 of the Penal Code for criminal breach of trust, evidence – oral, documentary and/or circumstantial, will be led by the prosecution to establish  the following –

  • A Special Resolution was passed to amend SRC International’s Articles of Association to appoint the Accused as Advisor Emeritus. As Advisor Emeritus the Accused shall advise the Company’s Board on material matters and matters of strategic interest to Malaysia, and that the Board shall give due consideration to and implement any advice of the Advisor Emeritus in the best interest of the Company;
  • That the Accused had dishonestly caused himself to wrongfully gain RM42 million and/or caused SRC International to wrongfully lose RM42 million;
  • That between 24 and 29 December 2014, a sum of RM27 million belonging to SRC International was remitted to the Accused’s AmPrivate Banking-1MY no. 211-202-201188-0 account through the company accounts of Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd;
  • That between 24 and 29 December 2014, a sum of RM5 million belonging to SRC International was remitted to the Accused’s AmPrivate Banking-MY no. 211-202-201190-6 account through the company accounts of Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd; and
  • That between 10 February and 2 March 2015, a sum of RM10 million belonging to SRC International was remitted to the Accused’s AmPrivate Banking-1MY no. 211-202-201188-0 account through the company accounts of Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd.

Three (3) charges under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 for money laundering

For the charges under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 for money laundering, evidence – oral, documentary and/or circumstantial, will be led by the prosecution to establish the following –

  • That the Accused on or about 26 December 2014 engaged in money laundering to wit by receiving RM27 million, being the proceeds of an unlawful activity, in the Accused’s AmPrivate Banking-1MY no. 211-202-201188-0 account;
  • That the Accused on or about 29 December 2014 via a Real Time Electronic Transfer of Funds and Securities (“RENTAS”) instruction, remitted RM27 million, being the proceeds of an unlawful activity, from the Accused’s AmPrivate Banking-1MY no. 211-202-201188-0 account to the company account of Permai Binraya Sdn Bhd;
  • That the Accused on or about 26 December 2014 engaged in money laundering to wit by receiving RM5 million, being the proceeds of an unlawful activity, in the Accused’s AmPrivate Banking-MY no. 211-202-201190-6 account;
  • That the Accused on or about 29 December 2014 via a Real Time Electronic Transfer of Funds and Securities (“RENTAS”) instruction, remitted RM5 million, being the proceeds of an unlawful activity, from the Accused’s AmPrivate Banking-MY no. 211-202-201190-6 account to the company account of Putra Perdana Construction Sdn Bhd;
  • That the Accused on or about 10 February 2015 engaged in money laundering to wit by receiving RM10 million, being the proceeds of an unlawful activity, in the Accused’s AmPrivate Banking-1MY no. 211-202-201188-0 account;
  • That the Accused on or about 10 February 2015 remitted RM10 million, being the proceeds of an unlawful activity, from the Accused’s AmPrivate Banking-1MY no. 211-202-201188-0 account to the Accused’s AmPrivate Banking-MY no. 211-202-201190-6 account;
  • That the Accused had issued a total of 15 personal cheques from his AmPrivate Banking-MY no. 211-202-201190-6 account totalling an approximate sum of RM10,776,514.00;
  • Evidence will also establish that in December 2014, the Accused’s credit card was charged US$130,625 for expenses made at Chanel, an exclusive fashion store in Honolulu; and
  • Evidence will establish that the personal cheques were issued for, among others, payment for renovation works carried out at the Accused’s residence at No.11 Jalan Langgak Duta, Kuala Lumpur, the Accused’s residence in Pekan, Pahang and cheques issued to various Barisan Nasional component political parties.  

My Lord,

The burden is now on the Prosecution to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the Accused, Mohd. Najib bin Hj Abd Razak is guilty of the criminal charges preferred against him at this trial.

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