About a week since he was found guilty of money laundering, criminal breach of trust and abuse of power in the SRC International trial, Najib Abdul Razak has come forward to insist none of the RM42 million involved had been for “personal use” or bribes.
The former prime minister also vowed to appeal the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s “unfair” verdict.
In a seven-minute video released late last night, Najib claimed that SRC money had been used for Umno “welfare programmes” and “corporate social responsibility” (CSR) initiatives for orphans; never for himself.
“I was ordered to pay an RM210 million fine on the RM42 million where 99 percent was spent for CSR, RM5 for every RM1 spent. The truth is it was not for personal use. The court itself confirmed that 99 percent was not for personal use.
“For example, a witness involved in the SRC case (said) my RM400,000 contribution to Rumah Penyayang Tun Abdul Razak in Pekan was for daily expenses and schooling costs of orphans.
“Because of that contribution, I was sentenced to an RM2 million fine […] I have been punished for doing charity, for looking after orphans and their schooling costs,” he claimed.
Najib also lamented that he was penalised for giving money to Umno.
“I have also been fined RM3.25 million because I gave an RM650,000 contribution to Umno Johor, Penang and Kedah for them to run their welfare programmes. There are many more examples of such spending where it was not for my personal use or personal comfort, but for the rakyat and the party,” he alleged.
Najib further disputed judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali’s ruling that there was no evidence the Saudi king intended to provide him with a “donation”, pointing to witness testimonies that suggested otherwise.
In the video, the Pekan MP vowed to challenge his conviction and 12-year jail sentence in the Court of Appeal.
“Based on the support given to me and for standing firm in the truth, I pledge to continue fighting against this very unfair decision. I will fully utilise the appeal process with determination and I will continue to fight for the rakyat.
“The main point here is I never asked for or was offered the RM42 million as a bribe. The prosecution did not submit a pinch of evidence to prove this happened,” he said.
Najib’s legal team filed an appeal against his conviction and sentence last Thursday (July 30).