1MDB audit tampering trial vacated Wednesday (Oct 14) due to conditional MCO, to resume Dec 7

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 13 Oct 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) audit tampering trial involving former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and former CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy is vacated to Thursday (Oct 14) due to the conditional movement control order (MCO).

High Court judge Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan informed all parties involved there would be no hearing tomorrow due to the latest directive from the Chief Registrar’s Office.

“We’ve been given clear instructions by the Chief Judge of Malaya that there will be no proceedings in the criminal courts, ” Justice Zaini said on Tuesday (Oct 13).

The trial was initially fixed for a two-day hearing this week, on Oct 13 and Oct 14.

On Monday (Oct 12), the government announced a conditional MCO from Oct 14 until Oct 27 following an increase in the number of Covid-19 positive cases.

The proceedings for the day continued with the National Audit Department’s audit director Datuk Nor Salwani Muhammad, 53, taking the stand under examination-in-chief by Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib.

The court also heard portions of an audio clip that was recorded discreetly by Salwani, who placed an audio recorder in a pencil case.

The audio clip was played in court for about 20 minutes.

In November last year, Salwani testified in court that she placed the recorder inside the pencil case belonging to former audit performance director Saadatul Nafisah Bashir Ahmad.

Saadatul had attended a coordination meeting on Feb 24,2016, with her boss, former auditor-general Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, and brought in the pencil case with her.

The coordination meeting, which was not minuted, was to discuss amendments to the 1MDB audit report.

Akram: In your earlier testimony to the court, you said that you had taken the recorder after the meeting was over and replayed it in your office.

Salwani: Yes.

Akram: Is this the same recording you heard on that day (at the office)?

Salwani: Yes, correct. As far as I’m hearing it now, it is the same.

The witness also confirmed that the voices in the recording were those of Ambrin, Saadatul, Arul Kanda and former chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa.

Najib is accused of using his position to order amendments to the 1MDB final audit report before it was tabled to the PAC to avoid any action against him.

He allegedly committed the offence in Putrajaya between Feb 22 and 26,2016.

Arul Kanda was charged with abetting Najib at the same place and time.

The hearing continues on Dec 7.

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