|Keys officials: Hasanah (left) and Irwan|
Ex-PM and Irwan slapped with six counts of CBT
KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has been brought to court several times but yesterday, he shared a dock at the Sessions Court with former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.
The two were jointly charged with six counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving funds totalling RM6.636bil that belongs to the government.
Najib, 65, was the first accused while Dr Mohd Irwan, 61, was named as the second accused.
According to the first two charge sheets, the two men were entrusted with dominion over RM1.2bil and RM655mil respectively, and committed CBT in respect of those sums.
The third charge alleges that Najib and Dr Mohd Irwan committed CBT relating to RM220mil in the government’s Federal Consolidated Fund. The amount was allocated for administration expenses for the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
The RM1.3bil at the centre of the fourth charge was in the same fund and classified as an allocation for subsidy and cash aids.
The fifth and sixth charges were for allegedly committing CBT in respect of 1.95 billion yuan (RM1.261bil) and RM2bil.
All the offences were allegedly committed at the Finance Ministry office in Putrajaya between Dec 21, 2016, and Dec 18, 2017.
The charges were framed under Section 409 of the Penal Code and each carries a jail term of between two and 20 years with whipping, if convicted.
Offenders are also liable to fines. Section 409 covers CBT by public servants and agents.
Najib and Dr Mohd Irwan pleaded not guilty, with both replying “Minta bicara (I claim trial)” after each charge was read out by the court interpreter.
Former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who was appointed by the Attorney General’s Chambers to lead the prosecution, suggested bail at RM3mil each.
Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah objected, saying that his client had already paid RM4.5mil bail accumulatively for his previous 32 charges, an amount which could be “highest in the history of Malaysia”.
“A bail’s only criterion is to ensure his attendance and nothing else. It cannot be punitive. It cannot be oppressive,” he said, adding that his client’s accounts and assets had also been frozen.
Dr Muhammad Shafee asked the court to make an order for Najib to utilise the RM4.5mil bail for his current case.
Datuk K. Kumaraendran, who represented Dr Mohd Irwan, said the prosecution itself did not object to bail, which showed that his client was not a flight risk, and suggested bail of RM500,000 for his client.
Sri Ram replied that the court should not allow the first accused to utilise his RM4.5mil bail for the case as the charges were new.
“The sum we asked for is not fixed on the totality of the sum involved,” he said.
Sri Ram added that the second accused was paid “excessively” during his tenure as the Treasury secretary-general.
“This is not a tale of a good Samaritan. He is the trustee of the highest order of money in this country. He stands before you accused of breaching that trust.
“Any other sum would not reflect the justice of the case,” Sri Ram said.
Sessions Court judge Azman Ahmad allowed bail at RM1mil in two sureties for each of the accused.
He also ordered Dr Mohd Irwan to surrender his passport. Najib had surrendered both his civilian and diplomatic passports in his earlier court case.
The court also allowed for the accused to pay RM500,000 yesterday and to pay the balance in 10 days. Both accused paid the bail.
Ex-spy chief Hasanah claims trial to US$12mil CBT
KUALA LUMPUR: Former spy chief Datuk Hasanah Ab Hamid has been charged with criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving US$12.1mil (RM50.3mil) belonging to the government at the Sessions Court here.
The former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) director-general claimed trial before Judge Azman Ahmad on Thursday (Oct 25).
Hasanah, 61, who was charged in her capacity as a director-general of a research division, was accused of committing CBT in the Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya between April 30 and May 9 this year.
The charge was made under Section 409 of the Penal Code, which provides a maximum 20 years’ jail and whipping, as well as a fine upon conviction.
Lead Prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram asked for a RM1mil bail.
Hasanah’s counsel Shaharudin Ali, however, asked for the sum to be set at RM300,000.
(Updated) Najib, Irwan claim trial to 6 charges of CBT | New Straits Times …
Najib to face RM6bil CBT charge – Nation
PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and a former key official of his government will be jointly charged with criminal breach of trust, said to involve more than RM6bil.
The former prime minister and former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah are expected to face six counts of allegedly committing CBT – all involving 1MDB.
The two are to be charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court over 1MDB’s dealings with Abu Dhabi’s wealth fund International Petro-leum Investment Company (IPIC).
Separately, another top official from the previous administration will also be charged in court.
Former spy agency chief Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid will also be charged with committing criminal breach of trust.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said it had received the go-ahead from the Attorney General’s Chambers to charge Najib, Dr Mohd Irwan and Hasanah with committing criminal breach of trust involving the government’s money.
With Dr Mohd Irwan being hauled to court, it will be the first time a former civil servant is being charged in connection with the sovereign wealth fund scandal.
As for Najib, the number of charges against him is now close to 40. He is already slapped with a total of 32 charges today involving corruption, criminal breach of trust and money laundering.
Sources with knowledge of the case confirmed the number of charges and that the amount of money involved in the 1MDB-IPIC scandal “runs into billions”.
Yesterday, both Najib and Dr Mohd Irwan were summoned by investigators. Both came separately at 1.55pm and 3.25pm respectively.
At 5pm, Najib left the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters despite earlier speculation that he would be held overnight.
On the previous occasions, prosecutors had held the former prime minister and brought him to court the next day.
While Najib was released after giving his statement, MACC confirmed that Dr Mohd Irwan was arrested at 3.35pm and was being held overnight. Dr Mohd Irwan had made several trips to the MACC regarding the 1MDB-IPIC case, the last being on Aug 10.
Graft investigators had probed both Najib and Dr Mohd Irwan on 1MDB’s dealings over settlement payment of US$1.2bil (RM5.04bil) made to IPIC in 2017.
As for Hasanah, the former director-general of Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation is being charged with criminal breach of trust involving money belonging to the government.
She is being held answerable to committing one count of criminal breach of trust by misappropriating funds worth US$12mil said to be meant for the 14th General Election.
Despite earlier talk that Hasanah would also be held, sources said she was asked to present herself in court today instead.
Hasanah was among nine people who were remanded in September over the misappropriation of the fund. – The Star by mazwin nik anis and joseph kaos jr
Spotlight on Najib’s key officials
PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is to be hauled to court for a third time to face extra charges, but the spotlight will be on former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah and ex-spy boss Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid.
The two former top civil servants are expected to face a multitude of charges brought against them by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
All three will have to present themselves today at the MACC headquarters here where they will be held overnight before being taken to the Jalan Duta Courts Complex in the morning.
While it will be the third date in court for the former prime minister, the fresh development involves Irwan and Hasanah, two key officials of Najib.
Irwan is expected face charges in connection with the 1MDB scandal while Hasanah, who headed the Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO), is expected to be charged for alleged misappropriation of funds worth US$12mil (RM49mil).
Sources said Najib and Irwan will be charged in connection with 1MDB’s dealings with Abu Dhabi’s wealth fund, International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).
However, it could not be confirmed if Najib – who is expected to be slapped with six more charges – and Irwan will be jointly or separately charged.
Najib is already facing 32 charges of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering.
Najib will first face the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Parliament this morning before heading to the MACC headquarters in the afternoon.
Sources familiar with the investigation said a statement would be recorded from Najib today. While they did not reveal the amount of the misappropriation involved in the six more charges expected to be slapped against him, one can expect the total to run into billions of ringgit.
“It is a lot of money involved here,” said an MACC source without elaborating.
Last week, Najib was called up twice by MACC to explain the payment of over US$1.2bil (RM5.04bil) made to IPIC by 1MDB in a settlement over a US$6.5bil (RM27.3bil) claim made by IPIC.
The settlement was triggered by 1MDB’s default on a bond payment due in 2016, which was guaranteed by IPIC in 2012 for the acquisition of two power plants.
It is understood that Najib, who was chairman of the 1MDB advisory board, would be held liable for his role in the debt settlement.
It is, however, not known how many charges Irwan and Hasanah, both aged 61, will be facing. Irwan had been called up by investigators several times to be queried on the debt settlement between 1MDB and the Abu Dhabi wealth fund. His last session was on Aug 10.
Irwan had even lodged a report with MACC over the controversy involving the “missing” RM18mil in Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds to determine if there were grounds for an investigation.
He later claimed that the allegation by the Pakatan Harapan government was baseless and that he lodged the report to enable the anti-graft body to investigate.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had claimed in Parliament that the Barisan Nasional administration had stolen a total of RM18bil in GST refunds.
As for Hasanah, prosecutors are expected to bring several charges against her, mostly with committing criminal breach of trust.
She was among nine persons who were arrested in connection with misappropriating funds meant for the 14th General Election.
Hasanah, seven other former MEIO officers and a businessman were arrested in late August.
MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Azam Baki was reported to have said that US$12mil (RM50.4mil) of government funds were allegedly misappropriated.
The cash was believed to have been brought in via air, possibly through the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Highly-placed sources in the anti-graft body had said that this needed to be looked into as it would be difficult to carry such a staggering amount of money undetected.
Malaysian law requires those bringing in US$10,000 (RM41,000) and above into the country to have it declared at the point of entry.
Investigators found out that the money was brought into the country in May.
Investigators also do not discount the possibility of the funds coming from 1MDB.
The MACC has already called several witnesses, including three foreigners, and at least 20 more witnesses will be tracked down to assist in the investigation, a source said.
MEIO was listed as the “research division” of the Prime Minister’s Department under the Barisan administration.
Hasanah had courted controversy after writing to US Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel, appealing to the United States administration to support Najib.- The Star by mazwin nik anis