Auditor-General’s claim on 1MDB audit report prejudicial to Najib

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s lawyers today questioned the motive and timing behind Auditor-General Tan Sri Madinah Mohamad’s claim that the original audit report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had been tampered with and altered, calling it prejudicial to the former prime minister.

Najib’s lawyers claimed that Madinah’s statement can be interpreted as an attempt to influence public opinion and to prejudice Najib before his court cases.

Najib’s lawyers also sought to clarify some claims made by Madinah, saying that the Ministry of Finance had on December 21, 2015 stated that Low’s presence during a 1MDB board meeting was to represent Prince Turki Bin Abdullah as the owner of Petrosaudi Inc.


KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s lawyers today questioned the motive and timing behind Auditor-General Tan Sri Madinah Mohamad’s claim that the original audit report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had been tampered with and altered, calling it prejudicial to the former prime minister.

In a statement issued by Najib’s lead defence lawyer Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah’s law firm, they said it was unusual for a statement by the Auditor-General to be released to the public on a Sunday morning, and under orders of the Cabinet.

“This seems to indicate that there were political undercurrent and considerations taken for the decision to issue the said press statement.


“The Auditor General’s press statement read by any ordinary person without the benefit of all the documents and testimony pertaining to 1MDB, suggests that our client had attempted to cover up the alleged wrongdoings in 1MDB and of Jho Low,” read the statement released by law firm Shafee and Co, referring to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho.

Najib’s lawyers claimed that Madinah’s statement can be interpreted as an attempt to influence public opinion and to prejudice Najib before his court cases.

This, they added could amount to contempt of court as there are elements of attempt to prejudice Najib’s intended defences.

They also pointed out that the AG made no attempt to contact Najib for an explanation about his alleged role in the alteration of the 1MDB audit report before the press statement was issued.

This, they said was a serious breach of natural justice as the Pekan MP was never given a chance to respond to the claims made by Madinah.

“Even more concerning is that in the final paragraph of the Auditor General’s statement, it has been disclosed that this matter has now been forwarded to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Royal Malaysian Police for investigation. While this may be the right of any person to lodge any police report, we question the motive of disclosing this matter prematurely.

“We therefore take the position that the press statement is not only premature but against due process as the press statement has effectively publicly accused our client first and investigate later,” they added.

Najib’s lawyers also sought to clarify some claims made by Madinah, saying that the Ministry of Finance had on December 21, 2015 stated that Low’s presence during a 1MDB board meeting was to represent Prince Turki Bin Abdullah as the owner of Petrosaudi Inc.

They said that Low’s presence during that same meeting was also revealed and discussed in the proceedings of the PAC on 1MDB on November 25, 2015 where the previous Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang was also present.

“It must be noted that both the parliamentary reply and the PAC proceedings predates the alleged instruction to remove mention of Jho Low’s presence in a 1MDB meeting from the Auditor-General’s report,” they said.

Najib’s lawyers also argued that it was standard procedure in any audit process for the auditors and those being audited to meet to discuss the draft report for clarification and to correct any inaccuracies, if any, before the report is made final.

“Our client shall, in his own statement provide a more comprehensive explanation on the matters alleged at the appropriate time. However, as his defence solicitors on three ongoing criminal cases in the Courts of Malaya, we must express our concern with the Auditor General’s press statement,” they said.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said today it has begun investigating claims that the original 1MDB audit report had been tampered with and altered.

In a statement, the MACC also said it will be calling up several witnesses soon to testify and to assist in the investigations.

Madinah has confirmed that the contents of the original audit report on scandal-plagued fund 1MDB had been tampered with and altered, upon instructions by former prime minister Najib and his aides.

This comes as Najib repeatedly claimed that his relationship with Low was strictly professional and was forged with the country’s economic interests in mind.

The former prime minister also blamed US investment banking goliath Goldman Sachs for failing to safeguard Malaysia’s interests by not alerting his administration of Low’s efforts to defraud the Malaysian investment firm.

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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