MACC’s Latheefa could not confirm if recordings came from interception

‘I would not say whether we know this is an interception or not. It could be anything, it is a recording’


MALAYSIAN Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Latheefa Koya could not confirm whether the voice recording — allegedly involving Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak in an apparent 1Malaysia Development Bhd cover-up attempt — was a product of interception.

Latheefa, who was subpoenaed to testify in Najib’s SRC International Sdn Bhd trial, insisted that revealing the content, which tells about illegal acts of an attorney general (AG) or the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), is more important than questioning the legality of the material.

“I would not say whether we know this is an interception or not. It could be anything, it is a recording. The nature of the content is more important.

“Whether it is illegal or intercepted, it (the media conference) had to be done. So the public knows, never again, could the AG or PMO get involved in such offences such as revealing secret information, tampering or fabricating evidence to avoid being prosecuted,” she told the Kuala Lumpur (KL) High Court yesterday during an examination by the defence.

Lead defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah grilled Latheefa about how the MACC obtained the audio clips and whether a public revelation of the material was lawful.

The defence also sought to determine the authenticity and admissibility of the audio clips in court.

Latheefa testified that the graft buster received nine thumb drives in an envelope with an explanatory note on Jan 3 this year.

Five days later, the MACC held a press conference and played nine recorded conversations with a total duration of 45 minutes that implied the voice of Najib, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, and former officers Tan Sri Shukry Mohd Salleh and Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin.

Other high-ranking individuals allegedly in the conversations included ex-MACC chief Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad, former Lembaga Tabung Haji chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, the United Arab Emirates Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Zayed Al Nahyan and Mubadala Development Co CEO Khaldoon Al-Mubarak.

At the time, Latheefa said the revelation was made due to public interest which she reiterated in court yesterday.

She said the MACC could recognise the personalities involved and the context of the conversations, adding that the agency had handed over the recording to the police for further authentication.

The trial was adjourned until Monday for Latheefa to bring a standing order, if any, as raised by the defence to determine whether certain communications can be revealed and used beyond intelligence purposes.