Najib: We need an expert witness because my signature was forged

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 10): Datuk Seri Najib Razak today questioned the authenticity of some of his signatures in several documents that have been tendered at the High Court in his SRC International Sdn Bhd trial which necessitated an expert witness.

Najib — who is facing seven charges of criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money laundering of RM42 million — raised questions about his signatures in the Minister of Finance Inc minutes to the SRC board, the AmBank transfer instructions and the 1MDB minutes instructions to the SRC board.

He questioned the authenticity of some 15 documents that had been tendered in court, which he initially agreed contain his signature, but now questioned their authenticity.

The former premier agreed that he had only seen some of these documents during the course of the trial, while others were shown to him when he was grilled by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Najib said when his statements were recorded, some of the documents were shown to him and he was asked to explain its contents.

"I saw them briefly and I told the MACC recording officer that I signed the documents as they seemed to possess my signature. The MACC did not give any explanation to me until it was revealed to me during the trial."

He noted that during the trial, it was shown that some of the documents tendered were only photostat copies and not original documents in SRC, the officers in Minister of Finance Inc were not called to verify the documents, and the manner the documents existed, namely how they were prepared, was never confirmed.

Najib further said some of the documents bearing his signature were manipulated via photostat or electronic copy that was submitted to the bank, including the Real-time Electronic Transfer of Funds and Securities System (Rentas) transfer documents which former SRC director Datuk Suboh Md Yassin certified.

He also suggested that his signature on these documents appeared to have been "cut and paste", and that some of the Minister of Finance Inc companies do not have the original copies of the documents, which lead him to believe that he may have not signed them.

The former premier maintained that he had no opportunity to discover or verify his signatures during his sessions with the MACC as his observations were done in passing when the documents were shown to him.

"Now I have reason to question some of the signatures on the documents whether they are originally mine.

"Based on the advice from my lawyers, a specialist in the examination of documents from Australia be brought in to conduct an investigation to determine the validity of my signatures in these documents," he said.

The former premier and Pekan lawmaker said he had told the MACC he cannot remember at times who brought the documents and the purpose of some of these transactions.

"I was not informed over what is shown to me and this leads me to believe that the documents are fake. This would be revealed in the duration of this trial," he stated.

Yesterday, Najib's lawyers, led by Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, indicated the defence wants to call in one Dr Steven, who is a purported handwriting expert from Australia, to examine the documents.

The defence did this via an oral application, and following arguments yesterday with the prosecution, Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali ordered that a formal application be filed.

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

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