FORMER Prime Minister Najib Razak has denied that RM114mil seized from his condominium in 2018 was his.
Instead, he said the money belonged to Umno and was entrusted to him to use for the 14th General Election (GE14) that year.
“I state that the RM114mil that was reported to be returned to me does not form part of my assets because at all material times, the RM114mil was held by me in trust on behalf of Umno following GE14 that had just concluded days before the raid on my apartment.
“As the (then) president of Umno, I was entrusted with said funds for purposes of the elections. However, the said money does not belong to me. Therefore, any non-disclosure as alleged is vehemently denied,” he said.
Najib stated this in his affidavit-in-reply to an additional affidavit filed by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) chairman Datuk Johan Mahmood who claimed that Najib failed to make a full disclosure of his assets as ordered by the High Court in a lawsuit filed by 1MDB against Najib.
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 RM114mil was to be returned to; accordingly, the authorities were simply required to return the money to where it was found (i.e. at my condominium),” he said.
Najib said ownership of the money was verified by current Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, in an affidavit during the forfeiture proceedings.
In the same affidavit, Najib stated that his accountant had inserted an additional vehicle to be part of his assets, which was a Range Rover with the registration 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 (RM3.2bil at current rates) 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 operating 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. – The Star