Witness confirms to court voices in audio recording

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 14 Oct 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: A witness who secretly recorded a coordination meeting discussing proposed amendments to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) audit report confirmed to the High Court of the voices heard in the audio recording.

National Audit Department’s audit director Datuk Nor Salwani Muhammad, 53, confirmed that the voices of former auditor-general Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy, former chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa, former principal private secretary to the then prime minister Tan Sri Shukry Mohd Salleh and former audit performance director Saadatul Nafisah Bashir Ahmad were among those heard on the clip.

The witness was under an examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib at the 1MDB audit tampering trial involving former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Arul Kanda here yesterday.

Akram: In your earlier testimony to the court, you said that you took 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.

In yesterday’s proceedings, the audio clip – which has a duration of two hours and 45 minutes and has been played before in a previous proceedings – was played for about 20 minutes to its completion.

In November last year, Salwani testified in court that she placed the recorder inside the pencil case belonging to Saadatul.

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

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

The court also vacated today’s proceedings due to the conditional movement control order (MCO).

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

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

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

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

Najib is accused of using his position to order amendments to the 1MDB final audit report before it was tabled to the Public Accounts Committee 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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