Police raid disrupts 1MDB audit process, defence says

The raid was launched 1 day before the interim report on 1MDB was presented to the PAC of the Parliament


SCANDAL-HIT 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) was having difficulties providing relevant documents needed for an audit following a police raid conducted at the company, according to the defence of the former CEO.

In the 1MDB audit report tampering trial — defence counsel for the then-CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy (picture) — Datuk N Sivananthan questioned Saadatul Nafisah Bashir Ahmad, a former audit director of the National Audit Department (NAD), about the consequences of the police raid in 2015.

The police seized documents and servers at the company during the operation.

Sivananthan: Are you aware that the police had seized documents from 1MDB on July 8, 2015?

Saadatul Nafisah: I heard in the news but I don’t remember the exact date and what documents they seized.

Sivananthan: In these circumstances, you would agree with me that it would have put 1MDB in a little bit of a difficult position, bearing in mind that the police had seized the documents, and they (1MDB) therefore had to request those documents back from the authorities for the audit process?

Saadatul Nafisah: Yes.

Sivananthan took note that the police raid was launched one day before the interim report on 1MDB was presented to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament.

Saadatul Nafisah testified at the Kuala Lumpur High Court that Arul Kanda had told the NAD about the document seizure and was unable to furnish the documents needed.

During the cross-examination by the defence, the seventh prosecution witness also agreed that the police had control over the documents following the raid.

The trial, which also implicated former Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak, would continue on Sept 27.

Najib is charged with abusing his power as a public officer in his capacity as PM and finance minister in altering the 1MDB audit report.

Arul Kanda was accused of abetting Najib in tampering with the company’s audit report, which was then tabled to the PAC for investigation.

The two were charged under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, which provides for 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.