SRC trial postponed as witness statement not finalised, Najib to be at PWTC

SRC trial postponed as witness statement not finalised, Najib to be at PWTC
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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 25): Datuk Seri Najib Razak's SRC International Sdn Bhd trial has been postponed today, as the former premier needs to be at an Umno meeting, while the statement for the next defence witness to be called is yet to be finalised.

The defence was supposed to proceed with the examination-in-chief of Putrajaya Perdana Bhd managing director Datuk Rosman Abdullah today, although lawyer Farhan Read told the court that Rosman's witness statement has yet to be finalised.

Putrajaya Perdana is the parent company of Putra Perdana Construction Sdn Bhd and Permai Binaraya Sdn Bhd, whose accounts were allegedly used to transfer funds from SRC to Najib's private accounts.

Ad hoc prosecutor Datuk V Sithambaram raised concerns, as he said he would have difficulty preparing for the cross-examination of the witness if the prosecution does not obtain the finalised statement in time.

The prosecutor said he foresees that Rosman's time in the stand will involve a considerable number of documents as well as cross references with other evidence.

Farhan: It is just a matter of finalisation. We only came to this position at 11pm. We anticipate the statements can be sent to the prosecution by the end of the working day.

Sithambaram: What do you mean by the end of the working day? You people work until midnight.

Farhan: The normal working day. By 5pm.

Beyond the matter of finalising the witness statement, lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told the court that Najib also has to attend a meeting at Umno's Putra World Trade Centre headquarters this morning, and subsequently head to the Palace.

He will likely be part of an Umno delegation that has an audience before the Agong today.

The defence has also indicated that it intends to call Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Mohd Nasharudin Amir as a witness, after Rosman, despite Justice Mohd Nazlan Ghazali's ruling that the witness may not be compelled to do a pre-testimony interview with the defence.

Meanwhile, on the matter of the MACC audio recordings, Shafee confirmed that the defence will call in MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya, former chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad and Najib's former private secretary Tan Sri Shukry Mohd Salleh.

Separately, the defence will also be calling former Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali.

He said Latheefa refused to be interviewed by the defence, while Dzulkifli and Apandi have indicated that they want to remain independent and will not give witness statements.

"We may get Latheefa Koya to name the person who was responsible for the recording to ascertain whether it was authorised and whether it is admissible in court," said Shafee.

The lawyer added that Dzulkifli and Shukry will be explaining whether the recorded conversations between them were improper and whether the recordings are authentic. "We don't know if there has been voice alteration or some form of tampering and so on."

In this trial, Najib faces seven counts of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering in connection with RM42 million from SRC, a former 1Malaysia Development Bhd subsidiary.

The trial will continue tomorrow at 2.30pm.

The Edge is reporting the proceedings of the SRC trial live.

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