Najib asked to see 1MDB audit report, witness tells court

KUALA LUMPUR: National Audit Department (NAD) former audit director Saadatul Nafisah Bashir Ahmad told the High Court that Datuk Seri Najib Razak asked to look at the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) audit report despite there being other special audit reports.

Saadatul Nafisah said this during re-examination by lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram at the 1MDB audit tampering trial involving Najib and former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy here on Wednesday (Oct 20).

Sri Ram: Has the auditee ever been given a copy of the audit before?

Saadatul Nafisah: No.

Sri Ram: Except for this one. How about earlier special audits?

Saadatul Nafisah: Before we give (the report), we present it to Cabinet (or those who requested the special audit), and after that (auditee) will get the report.

Sri Ram: So a special audit report was given to the person acquisitioning the report?

Saadatul Nafisah: Yes.

The seventh prosecution witness told the court that a special audit report is one that is requested by the Cabinet or the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and not initiated by the NAD itself.

She said the 1MDB special audit was not the first carried out as the NAD had done several special audits prior to the one on 1MDB.

"There was one requested by the Cabinet on KLIA2," she said.

It was reported that the PAC had proposed for the Auditor-General to conduct an audit of KLIA2 following its findings that the main cause of the problems in the airport was the massive increase in costs from the initial RM1.7bil to RM4bil.

Sri Ram: Who was the prime minister when that (KLIA2) audit was carried out?

Saadatul Nafisah: Najib.

Sri Ram: Did he (Najib) call for a copy of the (KLIA 2) report or ask for changes to the report?

Saadatul Nafisah: No.

The court had previously heard from Najib's former principal private secretary Tan Sri Shukry Mohd Salleh, 67, that in early February 2016, Najib instructed Shukry to obtain the 1MDB audit report from the NAD and that the report "needed to be checked before it went for print".

"This was because he (Najib) was concerned that the report contained nonsense," Shukry had said in his witness statement.

Najib, 68, is accused of abusing his position to order amendments to the 1MDB final audit report to avoid any action being taken against him while Arul Kanda is accused of abetting Najib in making amendments to the report.

Both men were charged under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, which provides a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

The hearing resumes before Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan on Nov 29.

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