Witnesses claim that SRC International directors followed Najib’s orders when they were appointed.

The High Court heard that the board of directors of SRC International Sdn Bhd had been appointed to carry out the wishes of Datuk Seri Najib Rasak, shareholder of the company.

SRC International’s former director Tan Sri Ismee Ismail, 59, testified that it was typical for a newly established company’s board of directors (BOD) to be given a ‘blank slate’ to run their operations, allowing them to use their expertise and opinions to decide the company’s direction and determine which government-to-government endeavours to pursue.

According to the witness, however, SRC International BOD was different.

“What I am trying to say is that when we were appointed as board members of this newly formed entity called SRC we did not receive a blank piece of paper saying, ‘board, tell us what you want to do with the company’. This is not what happened.

Ismee stated on Thursday (6 June) that “in SRC, after you have been appointed as a member of the board, you will be told these are the wishes or directions from the shareholder to the management with support from the BOD”.

Najib was SRC International’s only shareholder through the Finance Minister (Incorporated), who was at the time the Prime Minister and Finance minister.

Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee, Najib’s lawyer, cross-examined Ismee. The company had sued Najib, and former SRC CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, for US$1.18bil.

Ismee, in response to another question, recalled a situation where he was upset with Nik Faisal who is at large when he found out that the company had not filed and submitted SRC International’s accounts for the 2013 financial year, which ended 31 March, which were due by September 2012, to the Companies Commission of Malaysia.

According to Ismee an article entitled “SRC still to file accounts or request extension” was published on The Edge on May 5, 2014.

“When I found the article, Nik Faisal told me you should write an ugly reply to The Edge in order to refute their article.

Nik Faisal, however, told me that SRC still had not filed the account. “I shouted and I made my personal effort at this point to close the account,” he said.

Ismee said that Nik Faisal falsely told him that “everything is good”.

Ismee said, “We didn’t realize Nik Faisal is a cheat.

SRC, under new management, filed the lawsuit in May 2021. They alleged that Najib committed breach of trust and abuse of power. They also claimed that he misappropriated company funds and personally profited from them.

It named Najib along with its former directors Datuk Suboh Md Yassin, Mohammed Azhar, Nik Faisal, Datuk Che Abdullah @ Rashidi Che Omar, Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, and Ismee in May 2021.

The suit was amended to remove six defendants, including Ismee. Najib and Nik Faisal were retained as the first two defendants.

Najib also named the former SRC International directors in his suit as third-party defendants.

The company sought damages, interest and costs as well as a court order declaring that Najib is responsible for its losses because of his breach of duty and trust. It also demanded that Najib reimburse the US$1.18bil it suffered in losses.

The company was also seeking US$120mil, and US$2mil, from Najib, and Nik Faisal respectively, for fraudulent breach of fiduciary duty and breach of trust.

The hearings before Justice Ahmad Fairuz Zainol Abidin continue on June 10.

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