KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 (Bernama) — Former chief secretary to the government, Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, described 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) differing financial statements as ‘dangerous evidence’, the High Court today heard.
Former officer of the National Audit Department (NAD), Saadatul Nafisah Bashir Ahmad, was referred to an audio recording played in court purportedly of a meeting that discussed the 1MDB audit report where Ali was heard saying “a very dangerous material evidence".
The two hour-and-45-minute recording was about a meeting held on Feb 24, 2016 where a decision was made to drop several controversial issues from 1MDB's final audit report.
During examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib, the 65-year-old witness said Ali was referring to the two different account statements provided by the strategic development company to Minister of Finance (Incorporated) and the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).
Ahmad Akram: Tan Sri Ali Hamsa was heard saying, ‘A very dangerous material evidence'. What does he refer to?
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Saadatul Nafisah: We have the evidence of (the difference) the two financial statements.
Ahmad Akram: And that is the dangerous material?
Saadatul Nafisah: Yes, and we can prove there are two statements.
Today is the seventh day of the trial of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and former 1MDB chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy on alleged tampering of the 1MDB final audit report.
Answering additional questions from lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, Saadatul Nafisah, who was then the head of a special team tasked with auditing 1MDB, testified that she noticed another former Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang was frustrated with the outcome of the meeting.
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“I was busy with documents and discussions on the matter after the meeting, so I did not realise how he acted until we got back to our office.
“He was frustrated. As the auditor-general, I think he was not happy," said Saadatul Nafisah.
Sri Ram: What about you? How do you feel?
Saadatul Nafisah: I was also frustrated. We gave the opportunity to 1MDB to discuss the issues. I told them that most of the issues raised by NAD were stating the facts.
The witness also said throughout her years of serving in the department since 1979 before retiring in 2016, she had never attended a meeting for the purpose of amending an audit report prepared by NAD.
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Saadatul Nafisah added that she did not notice a recording device was placed into her pencil case by another NAD officer, Nor Salwani Muhammad, until she was told about it later after the meeting ended.
Previously, Nor Salwani in her testimony as the fifth prosecution witness had admitted to placing the audio recorder in the meeting room just before the meeting was about to start.
Najib, 67, is charged with using his position to order amendments to the 1MDB final audit report before it was presented before the Public Accounts Committee to avoid any action being taken against him, while Arul Kanda is charged with abetting Najib in making amendments to the report to protect Najib from being subjected to action.
Both men have been charged under provisions of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, which carry a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.
The trial before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues tomorrow.
TAG: 1MDB, najib razak, arul kanda kandasamy, MACC, final audit report, evidence