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1MDB audit tampering trial: Najib and six others received draft of final audit reports

November 21, 2019

53 other copies destroyed

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Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court November 20, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 — Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was among seven people who received the National Audit Department (NAD)’s draft copies of the final audit report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), while the remaining copies were destroyed, the High Court heard today.

National Audit Department Director (governance) Nor Salwani Muhammad, the fifth witness to testify in Najib’s joint trial for the 1MDB audit report tampering, revealed that only seven draft copies out of 60 final audit report had survived.

The six others that received the copies were Najib’s then principal private secretary Tan Sri Shukry Mohd Salleh, former auditor-general (A-G) Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, former chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa, Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad, 1MDB former chief executive Arul Kanda Kandasamy and NAD’s own copy that was kept by Tan Sri Madinah Mohammad.

For this first printing, 60 audit reports were printed. Each print has a watermark number 01 through 60.

The purpose of watermarks numbered 01 to 60 is to facilitate the reference of the NAD audit team. All printed copies were then put in a box.

Then on February 22, 2016, I took 10 copies from the Chief Government Security Office (CGSO) and handed over 6 copies of the audit report to Tan Sri Ambrin, number 01 to 06, and kept 4 copies, numbers 07 to 10, in a safe at the National Audit Department.

The balance draft of the audit final report that was still in the box was disposed of after orders were received from Tan Sri Ambrin to comply with the CGSO’s disposal procedure,’’ she said.

However, later, Salwani explained that out of the 10 copies, another three was disposed of while the rest were delivered to the seven recipients, including Najib.

Salwani said NAD’s own copy of the 1MDB’s draft final audit report was given to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on November 2, 2018.

Salwani had earlier explained that the audit report was ordered to be printed by Ambrin on February 20, 2016, as it was to be presented to the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on February 24, 2016.

This was after PAC had requested for NAD to conduct an audit on 1MDB on February 27, 2015.

NAD was tasked to conduct an audit of 1MDB’s assets, including its finances, government guarantees and re-assessment of the fund’s financial statements from 2010 to 2014.

Yesterday, Ali had testified that Najib, after receiving the audit report on February 22, 2016, was unhappy over its findings and had called for a meeting to be held on February 24, 2016 — the first of a series of other meetings that resulted in changes to the A-G’s 1MDB report that was later presented to PAC.

In this trial, Najib is being jointly trial with Arul Kanda for their alleged role in tampering with the 1MDB 2016 audit final report.

Najib was charged with abusing his position as prime minister and finance minister to order amendments in February 2016 to the A-G audit report on 1MDB before its finalisation and presentation to PAC to avoid any civil or criminal action against him, while Arul Kanda was charged with abetting Najib in the report’s tampering.

Both their offences are punishable under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 with a maximum 20-year jail term, and a fine of at least five times the amount of gratification or RM10,000 or whichever is higher.

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