KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 (Bernama) -- Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali told the High Court today the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) never sought his authorisation during his tenure as the attorney-general (AG) to wiretap the leaked 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)-linked conversations in 2016.
Mohamed Apandi, 70, who was the AG from 2015 to 2018, explained that for wiretapping to be done, the anti-graft agency must first seek the approval of the AG or deputy public prosecutor.
He said this during examination-in-chief by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s lead defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah on the 89th day of the trial of Najib over alleged misappropriation of RM42 million in SRC International funds.
Muhammad Shafee: By virtue of Section 23 (of the MACC Act), throughout your tenure as the AG, has the MACC come to you asking for lawful interception or wiretapping?
Mohamed Apandi: The answer is no, never. I never had any knowledge of any so-called audio recording.
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Muhammad Shafee: So, that (wiretapping) never happened with any authority from you?
Mohamed Apandi: Yes.
Earlier, Muhammad Shafee had questioned former MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya about the nine 1MDB-linked audio recordings which the MACC revealed at a press conference on Jan 8 this year.
The audio recordings purportedly involved the former prime minister and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, former MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad and several other high-profile individuals.
Muhammad Shafee then proceeded to question the 14th defence witness on the press release regarding the progress of the 1MDB investigation which he released on Jan 18, 2016.
Muhammad Shafee: What is the overall matter that you expressed in the press statement?
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Mohamed Apandi: In the SRC International Sdn Bhd case, it touches on the government guarantee on the RM4 billion loan to SRC from Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP). After going through the papers, I was satisfied that the loan approval from KWAP was done properly.
Mohamed Apandi said that for the RM2.6 billion (1MDB) case, he was also satisfied that the money was from the Saudi royal family, after looking at the papers and facts presented in the investigation papers.
“I found that there was no evidence to show that the then-PM had committed any offence or done any corrupt practice. Based on the facts and evidence back then, I was satisfied that no criminal offence was conducted by the PM,” he said, adding that the MACC itself had admitted that the PM did not conduct corrupt practices at that time.
When asked by lead prosecutor Datuk V. Sithambaram whether he was the one who suggested to then-MACC chief Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad to close the file in the 1MDB and SRC International investigation, the witness replied in the negative.
The former High Court judge also denied any involvement in the purported cover-up of Najib’s alleged wrongdoings during re-examination by Muhammad Shafee.
“No, I never gave any instruction to cover up," he said.
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The court had also heard that then MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed had suggested to the then 1MDB task force for Najib to be charged over the RM42 million SRC International case at a meeting on July 4, 2015.
Another defence witness, the 15th, ACP R. Rajagopal of Bukit Aman Commercial Criminal Investigation Department (CCID), said he represented former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar at the multi-agency 1MDB task force meeting on July 4, 2015. The task force comprised the police, the Attorney-General's Chambers and Bank Negara.
Muhammad Shafee: Did the task force take up Abu Kassim’s suggestion to charge Najib?
Najib is making his defence on seven charges of misappropriating RM42 million in SRC International Sdn Bhd funds, comprising three counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT), three counts of money laundering and one count of abuse of power in relation to the SRC funds.
The trial before Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali continues tomorrow.
TAG: court, najib razak, SRC International, criminal breach of trust, apandi ali, macc, 1mdb