A single letter from Najib used to approve RM4 bil KWAP loans, the Fed Court said
PUTRAJAYA (Aug. 18): The federal court heard Thursday (Aug. 18) that only a single letter from the then Prime Minister was required for the approval of RM4 billion in loans from Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) to SRC International Sdn Bhd Datuk Seri was required for Najib Razak.
Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram prefaced the prosecution’s submissions in Najib’s latest SRC appeal by describing Najib’s “practical” approach to securing the two tranches of loans the pension fund made to the SRC, totaling RM4 billion .
He told the Supreme Court that the Prime Minister’s Ministry’s Economic Planning Unit (EPU) originally proposed that funding for SRC be sourced from commercial banks and financial markets, which was also accepted by Najib and the Minister in charge of the EPU at the time, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop.
However, Najib, in his capacity as Prime Minister and Finance Minister, later applied for approval of RM3.95 billion in funds from KWAP – rather than sourcing the money from commercial banks and financial markets – to allow SRC to pursue its renewable energy goals, Sithambaram submitted .
He said Najib wrote a minute on an SRC letter on June 5, 2011, addressed to then-CEO of KWAP, Datuk Azian Mohd Noh, which read: “YBhg Datuk Azian, Bersetuju dengan cadangan ini(“Datuk Azian, agree to this proposal”).
“The CEO of KWAP then asked KWAP’s Fixed Income Department to process this loan application from SRC.
“Eventually, the KWAP Investment Panel approved a financing of RM2 billion in 2011 and an additional RM2 billion in 2012 as a result of the complainant’s interference,” Sithambaram submitted.
Relying on just one letter to approve RM4 billion in loans is “ridiculous,” the ad hoc prosecutor said. While filing this, Najib was seen casually looking at his phone.
The federal government, as guarantor of the RM4 billion loans, had confirmed earlier this month that it had paid off the debt to the pension fund in full.
Hearing of the appeal in the federal court finally began after the request of the former prime minister’s lead lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, was rejected by a five-member panel.
Two other issues dealt with before the main appeal were requests for new evidence and a three to four month stay, both of which were also dismissed by the federal court.
Najib is in federal court to hear his latest appeal in the SRC matter. He was found guilty by the High Court on 28 July 2020 on all seven charges and sentenced to 12 years in prison and a fine of RM210 million.
The judgment and sentence were upheld by the Court of Appeals on December 8 last year.
The charges include one count of abuse of power in approving loans from KWAP to SRC of RM4 billion and three counts each of criminal breach of trust and money laundering of RM42 million of SRC funds.
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