Najib denies $13.7 million came from 1MDB subsidiary, lawyer says

Najib denies $13.7 million came from 1MDB subsidiary, lawyer says
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

KUALA LUMPUR - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak denies any knowledge of receiving RM42 million (S$13.7 million) from SRC International Sdn Bhd in his bank account, said his lead counsel Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun.

Hafarizam said Najib admitted that the money was deposited into his account but has no knowledge that it was channelled through two intermediary companies.

"My client denied that RM42 million from SRC went to his account," Hafarizam told reporters here.

He said he cannot comment further as he did not want to dent investigations by the authorities over the matter.

He was responding to news reports in relation to a defamation suit filed by Najib against former Transport Minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik.

SRC International was a subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) until it was taken over by the Finance Ministry in February 2012 via a non-cash dividend transaction worth RM1 million.

Hafarizam said this in response to Dr Ling's statement of defence and that the veteran politician has to prove during the trial if he has knowledge about this.

Najib has maintained that he has the constitutional right to protect his dignity and reputation over defamatory remarks against him.

A High Court judge had recently asked the parties to explore mediation over the libel suit.

Najib sued Dr Ling over his remarks which allegedly implied that he had misused public fund for his personal interests.

Dr Ling's lead counsel, Ranjit Singh, had said the parties have to be present for the mediation process to be successful.

In his lawsuit, Najib said that an online news portal had on Oct 3 last year published an article saying Dr Ling had made slanderous statements against him while attending a ceremony at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College.

In his statement of claim filed on Oct 27, last year, Najib is seeking damages and an injunction to restrain Dr Ling from further speaking or publishing any similiar defamatory words against him.

In the statement of defence filed on Dec 14 last year, Dr Ling said the libel suit was brought in bad faith, malicious and with an ulterior motive.

Dr Ling said the civil claim was frivolous and vexatious and denied all allegations against him in the claim.

Dr Ling has also counter sued the prime minister for an alleged abuse of civil process over his libel suit against him. The case is fixed for mention on Feb 18.

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