KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 (Bernama) -- A Ministry of Finance senior official today told the High Court here that the documents for a memorandum to the Cabinet on the government's guarantee for SRC International Sdn Bhd must be prepared immediately as the company belonged to former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The ministry’s Strategic Investment Division deputy secretary Afidah Azwa Abdul Aziz, 44, said the matter was told by the division secretary, Maliami Hamad, after she questioned why the Cabinet memorandum needed to be completed immediately.
The 40th prosecution witness said this during a re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim on the 29th day trial of Najib, who is facing seven charges of misappropriation of SRC funds totalling RM42 million.
Suhaimi: When cross-examined by counsel, you said you have been involved in the process of five government guarantees before this. What is the procedure before the government guarantee being submitted to the Cabinet?
Afidah Azwa: For the application process of five government guarantees, we have time to arrange for meetings and to call the relevant ministries, (to) discuss and study the company’s account apart from to know the projects to be implemented to be forwarded to the Cabinet.
Suhaimi: How much time did take to prepare the memorandum for SRC?
Afidah Azwa: A few hours after a meeting with Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and Zahid Taib.
Suhaimi: Where were Nik Faisal and Zahid when you prepare the memorandum?
Afidah Azwa: They were in front of me as I typed what they were saying on the laptop.
Suhaimi: Did you ask Maliami why the need to expedite the memorandum?
Afidah Azwa: Maliami said he received instructions.
Suhaimi: Did you ask from who?
“As far as I remember, I did. Maliami said this (SRC) is PM's company," said the witness.
This led to objections being raised by Najib's counsel, Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, who said Afidah Azwa's evidence should not be admitted as it could be considered hearsay.
However, deputy public prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram said: "Whenever the witness said something not favourable to the defence, they objected it. This is ridiculous."
Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali allowed the question as Maliami would also be called as a witness in the trial.
Najib, 66, faces criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of position charges relating to misappropriation of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds amounting to RM42 million.