KUALA LUMPUR: A prosecution witness today reiterated what the court had heard before, that the RM2 billion loan given by Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) to SRC International Sdn Bhd was rushed.
KWAP vice-president of the legal and secretarial department Azlida Mazni Arshad confirmed what was previously said by the pensioners fund assistant vice-president Amirul Imran Ahmat in his testimony before this.
Amirul, who was the 29th prosecution witness had testified that KWAP was forced to expedite the loan application process and that he was pressured to get things going when the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) linked company applied for the money in 2011.
Azlida in her testimony today said she had attended a KWAP investment panel meeting which was chaired by Tan Sri Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah (KWAP chairman) on July 19, 2011.
“I took the minutes of the meeting and the CEO informed everyone that the prime minister wanted the loan approval to be expedited.
“The loan to SRC international was to be used as the company’s working capital and general investments,” she said.
However, she said the panel was of the opinion that a RM2 billion loan for a RM2 start-up company like SRC International was too big.
The investment panel subsequently discussed that only RM1 billion should be given to SRC International, as proposed by Amirul.
“The panel members were aware of the over concentration risk of such a big loan.
“They questioned the capabilities and competency of the SRC International management in getting involved in natural resources which needs high levels of expertise,” she said.
It was previously revealed in court that SRC International wanted a loan to get involved in natural resources like oil and gas, iron and steel and coal and uranium.
Azlida said the panellist were also of the opinion that the loan should not be given in one lump sum, but released on a staggered basis based on progressive reports from SRC International.
She said after considering everything, the panellist finally agreed to approve a RM2 billion loan to 1MDB as it was a strategic government initiative.
However, she said KWAP wanted tightened loan conditions which had been suggested by Amirul to be imposed.
This included getting the government to become the guarantor or the loan is given directly to the government.
She said SRC International acting CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil subsequently sent a letter to KWAP asking for the loan to be given directly to SRC International as it was a wholly owned subsidiary of 1MDB and because the government had agreed to be the guarantor.
Azlida will continue her testimony on Tuesday.
Najib, 66, is facing seven charges of three counts of criminal breach of trust, and one count of abuse of power over funds amounting to RM42 million linked to SRC International.
He is also facing three money-laundering charges over the same funds.
He faces 20 years jail and fine for the offences.