1MDB trial: Witness admits statement drafted by officers 

Siti Zauyah, who was the ministry’s deputy secretary general, says it was drafted by 2 individuals who were handling the loan part

KUALA LUMPUR • A former official of the Finance Ministry today admitted at the Kuala Lumpur High Court that her witness statement for Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) trial was drafted by two of her officers at the time without her presence.

Datuk Siti Zauyah Mohd Desa (picture), 63, who was the ministry’s deputy secretary general, said it was drafted by two individuals who were handling the loan part.

“It was drafted by my officers but it was never in my presence. I was just given the documents,” she said.

The 26th prosecution witness said this when cross-examined by lawyer Tan Sri Muhamad Shafee Abdullah, who was representing Najib at the trial of the former prime minister involving the misappropriation of RM2.3 billion from 1MDB.

The witness made the remarks when the veteran lawyer asked whether she had prepared the statement or not. 

Muhammad Shafee: You don’t know who drafted it? 

Siti Zauyah: I know a few names, namely Afidah and Azmida. They were handling the loan part. 

The witness also admitted that the statement was given to her at the last minute to be signed, and she did not have enough time to peruse it beforehand. 

Muhammad Shafee: Everything stated in the statement was within your knowledge? 

Siti Zauyah: I do not know whether it is within my knowledge. 

The senior counsel then said it was good that the witness was “telling the truth” about who drafted the witness statement.

Muhammad Shafee then went on to read the final page of Siti Zauyah’s 40-page witness statement that was previously tendered in court as evidence, specifically reading out the line where she said the witness statement is true based on her knowledge.

Muhammad Shafee then said: “But in truth, the details that were put in your statement, you do not know the whole lot to be true, to be accurate from your personal knowledge?” To this, Siti Zauyah said “Yes”.

Right after that, the lawyer requested a short break for him to discuss this new development with the prosecution.

The court stood down and Najib then went to the room attached to the courtroom, which was guarded by a few prison officers.

Earlier, when the proceedings started at 10.42am, Najib, who was clad in a blue suit, was seen sitting in the dock without being handcuffed.

Najib is now serving his 12-year jail term in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case.

Najib, 69, is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion from 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The trial before Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues. — Bernama