FORMER prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has denied that the RM114 mil seized from his condominium in 2018 was his personal asset, adding that the money belonged to UMNO and was entrusted to him for use during the 14th general election (GE14).
The former Pekan MP further pointed out that the ownership status of the money had also been confirmed by the party’s lawyer in the forfeiture proceedings and in the police report made a day after the authorities had raided his condominium at Pavilion Residences in Kuala Lumpur.
“The current UMNO president (Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) who is also the Deputy Prime Minister has confirmed through an affidavit at the material time in the proceedings mentioned above that the RM114 mil belongs to UMNO and not to me,” Najib stressed.
“As the (then) president of UMNO, I was entrusted with the said funds for purposes of the election, however, the said money does not belong to me. Therefore, any non-disclosure as alleged is vehemently denied.”
Najib stated this in his affidavit-in-reply to an additional affidavit filed by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) chairman Datuk Johan Mahmood.
Johan had claimed that Najib had failed to make a full disclosure of his assets as ordered by the High Court in a lawsuit filed by 1MDB against Najib.
In the additional affidavit, Johan claimed that Najib failed to declare RM1,010,258.62 in his bank accounts which did not include the RM114mil in cash released by the court in 2021.
According to Najib, the money was initially returned to him as it was part of forfeiture proceedings initiated by the Attorney General’s Chambers.
“Upon the dismissal of the public prosecutor’s application, no order was made as to where the RM114 mil was to be returned to, and therefore, the authorities were only required to return the money to where it was found (which is in my condominium),” he stressed.
In the same affidavit, Najib also stated that his accountant had also inserted an additional vehicle to be part of his assets, which was a Range Rover with the plate JSM1.
The vehicle, he said, was a gift from the Johor Ruler which was inadvertently left out in his initial disclosure.
Najib was ordered to declare his assets by the High Court when 1MDB successfully obtained a Mareva injunction to prevent him from dissipating US$681mil in assets.
On Feb 8 last year, the High Court allowed the ex-parte application for a Mareva injunction by 1MDB and Global Diversified Investment Company Limited (formerly known as 1MDB Global Investments Limited), both as first and second plaintiffs, in the 1MDB lawsuit against Najib and several other individuals.
Plaintiffs 1MDB, 1MDB Energy Holdings Limited, 1MDB Energy Limited, 1MDB Energy (Langat) Limited and Global Diversified filed a suit against Najib, Terrence Geh Choh Heng (former 1MDB financial director), Jasmine Loo Ai Swan (former 1MDB counsel), Casey Tang Keng Chee (former 1MDB executive director), Vincent Beng (former 1MDB chief investment officer) and Radhi Mohamad (former 1MDB chief financial officer).
Kelvin Tan Kay Jim (former 1MDB investment director) and Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil (former SRC International Sdn Bhd chief executive officer) are also listed as defendants in the lawsuit. – July 4, 2023
Main pic credit: Bernama