Final audit report not printed pending ‘green light’ from Najib, says witness


A FORMER audit director of the National Audit Department (NAD) told the High Court in Kuala Lumpur yesterday that she was told not to print the final audit report on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) until there were instructions from former Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak to do so.

Saadatul Nafisah Bashir Ahmad, 65, said then Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa had informed the matter when she submitted the draft of the audit report, which had been updated, to him (Ali) at his office on Feb 29, 2016.

“From what I can remember, Ali told me ‘don’t print the report until his green light’. He said it would have a political impact on the country.

“I then conveyed the matter to (then Auditor-General) Tan Sri Ambrin Buang and he took note of it,” she said when reading out her witness statement during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Rozaliana Zakaria.

Saadatul Nafisah, who retired from the civil service on May 16, 2016, was testifying on the seventh day of the trial of Najib and Arul Kanda Kandasamy over the tampering of the 1MDB final audit report. Earlier, the seventh prosecution witness said she submitted the draft of the final audit report to Najib’s former private secretary Tan Sri Shukry Mohd Salleh as requested by him at his house in Precinct 10, Putrajaya, on Feb 20, 2016.

Saadatul Nafisah, who joined NAD on Feb 2, 1979, said she went to Shukry’s house as requested and handed over the documents to him at the house gate.

She said based on office procedure, prior to the draft of the final audit report being sent for printing, a copy of the draft would be sent to the audit, stakeholders and the minister-in-charge for the final check and verification.

“If there is a correction or any changes to be made, it can be done by providing valid evidence and proof. Apart from that, based on the NAD’s Standard Operating Procedure, a copy of the draft of the final audit report was to be sent to the minister-in-charge, in this case, it was the finance minister, who was Najib.

“In this regard, I agreed to hand over the draft to Shukry on the orders by Ambrin as I assumed he would want to read and present it to Najib as the finance minister then,” she added.

Najib was charged with using his position to order amendments to the 1MDB final audit report before it was tabled to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to avoid any action against him.

He was charged, in his capacity as a public officer, which was as PM, with using the position to obtain gratification for himself to evade disciplinary, civil or criminal action against him in connection with 1MDB, by ordering alterations to the 1MDB final audit report before it was finalised and tabled to the PAC, where he directly had interest in.

Najib was accused of committing the offence at the PM’s Department Complex, Federal Government’s Administrative Centre, Putrajaya, between Feb 22 and 26, 2016.

The charge, framed under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, provides a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

Arul Kanda was charged with abetting Najib in making amendments to the report to protect Najib from being subjected to disciplinary, civil or criminal action in connection with 1MDB, at the same place and time and in accordance with Section 28 (1) (c) of the MACC Act 2009 read with Section 23(1) and 24(1) of the same Act which provide for similar punishment, if found guilty.

The hearing before Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues tomorrow. — Bernama