Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Enough proof to charge Najib over SRC International, says MACC oversight committee

The Operations Review Panel has advised the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commisision (MACC) to re-submit two investigation papers on SRC International Sdn Bhd to the attorney-general (A-G), saying there is credible evidence to frame charges against Datuk Seri Najib Razak, a panel member said. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the member said the panel was influential as members could review investigation papers classified as "delayed" and "no further action". "The MACC investigators had collected sufficient evidence to prove a prima facie case against Najib," the panel member told The Malaysian Insider. "We came to the conclusion as MACC investigators had also briefed us on the case. They had also answered all our queries." The panel, chaired by former Sarawak state secretary Tan Sri Dr Hamid Bugo, ended its tenure yesterday as the members did not receive extension letters after their one-year term ended. At its final meeting yesterday, the panel was briefed on the latest developments in the probe into SRC International and the RM2.6 billion political donation in Najib's personal bank accounts. The panel commended MACC for its professionalism, dedication and integrity, and told the investigators to re-submit investigation papers to the A-G and seek his assistance to issue a mutual legal assistance to enable MACC to obtain evidence and documents from financial institutions abroad. Criminal lawyer M. Visvanathan said credible evidence meant that the prosecution had all the ingredients to prove their case in order for an accused person to enter defence. "It means, that unrebutted at the defence stage, the prosecution can obtain a conviction against the accused," he said. A-G Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, who is also the public prosecutor, had on January 26 said there was insufficient evidence to charge Najib over SRC International, a Finance Ministry-owned firm. The company was reportedly the firm from which part of the donation had originated before it flowed through other companies and ended up in Najib's personal bank accounts. Apandi also said there was no evidence that Najib, also the finance minister, abused his power in relation to a loan taken by SRC International from pensions fund, KWAP. He had also explained that there was no need to proceed with a request for mutual legal assistance from overseas financial authorities and banks for MACC to complete its probe into the RM2.6 billion, since there was insufficient evidence. The Malaysian Insider is awaiting a response from Apandi whether he will reconsider his decision to close investigations against Najib, following the statement from MACC yesterday. MACC had recorded statements from more than 100 witnesses, including Najib, over the donation. The agency opened investigations following reports in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and Sarawak Report in July last year, alleging that of the RM2.6 billion donation, RM42 million had originated from SRC International, a subsidiary of Najib's brainchild, 1Malaysia Development Berhad. A larger tranche of US$681 million was also transferred into Najib's accounts, originating from a British Virgin Islands company and going through Falcon Private Bank in Singapore. Apandi said US$620 million was returned by Najib to the Saudi donor as it was not utilised. – February 25, 2016.]]>

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