1MDB audit report meeting: Final 20 minutes of audio recording played in court

by BERNAMA / graphic by MZUKRI

THE final 20 minutes of the audio recording of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) audit report coordination meeting on Feb 24, 2016, which was chaired by former Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, was heard at the 1MDB final audit report alleged tampering trial involving Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Also standing trial with the former prime minister is former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

The proceedings on Aug 25, saw the two-hour 45-minute audio recording being replayed when National Audit Department (NAD) director Datuk Nor Salwani Muhammad (picture), who was the fifth prosecution witness, was called back to testify.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib had informed the court then the remaining part of the recordings would resume on Oct 12, but proceedings were postponed as Najib was still undergoing home quarantine after returning from Sabah, which was duly completed yesterday.

Asked by Ahmad Akram if the audio recording was the same one she listened to on Feb 24, 2016, Nor Salwani replied: “Yes it is true, the parts I have listened to so far is the same recording.”

Ahmad Akram: Can you confirm this is the same audio recording you transferred to the (computer) hard-drive and then into a thumb drive?

Nor Salwani: Yes it is.

The witness then identified and confirmed the voices in the audio recording as belonging to several individuals including, Arul Kanda, Ali, former Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, former NAD director Saadatul Nafisah Bashir Ahmad and Najib’s former principal private secretary Tan Sri Shukry Mohd Salleh.

In her previous testimony, Nor Salwani, 53, admitted in court that she recorded the meeting by placing a voice recorder in a pencil case belonging to Saadatul Nafisah, without her knowledge before the meeting began.

Nor Salwani said she did so to enable her to prepare the minutes of the audit report coordination meeting, as she was not allowed to participate in the meeting.

Prior to this, Ali, who was the fourth prosecution witness, had testified that in the coordination meeting held on Najib’s directive, there were four issues that had been agreed to be removed from the 1MDB audit report, including two conflicting versions of the company’s 2014 financial report.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan postponed the trial, which was supposed to continue tomorrow, to Dec 7, following the implementation of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Selangor, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur from tomorrow until Oct 27.

“I just like to inform everyone that we will not be able to sit for tomorrow’s proceedings due to the CMCO and we have been given clear instruction by the CJM (Chief Judge of Malaya) that there’ll be no proceedings conducted in the criminal courts,” said Justice Mohamed Zaini.

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

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 provides for similar punishment, if found guilty.