1MDB audit report could only be printed after Najib’s approval, court told

Former prime minister Najib Razak is accused of using his position to obtain immunity from legal action in relation to allegations that he tampered with the 1MDB audit report.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court heard today that former chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa had directed the National Audit Department (NAD) not to print the 1MDB audit report until the then prime minister Najib Razak had approved it.

Former audit performance director Saadatul Nafisah Bashir Ahmad said Ali told her this when she went to his office to submit a copy of the report about 9.30am on Feb 29, 2016.

“If my memory serves me right,” she said, Ali told her: “Don’t print the report until his (Najib’s) greenlight.”

Nafisah, who is the seventh prosecution witness, said this was because the report would have a political impact on the country.

“I later informed my boss, then auditor-general Ambrin Buang, about the matter,” said Nafisah who was reading her witness statement.

The amended report was presented to the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee on March 4 and 7, 2016.

Nafisah is testifying against Najib who is accused of using his position to obtain immunity from legal action in relation to allegations that he tampered with the 1MDB audit report between Feb 22 and 26, 2016.

The alleged offence took place at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya.

Meanwhile, former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy is charged with abetment.

Nafisah also said on Feb 28, 2016, Ali’s senior private secretary Norazman Ayob told her that his boss wanted the final draft of the audit report by 4pm that day.

“Since it was a Sunday, and the report was being updated, I informed Norazman that the document would be handed over the following day after consent from Ambrin,” she said.

Nafisah said Norazman also requested the report to be in the soft copy but this was refused by Ambrin due to security concerns.

She said on March 1, 2016, she and her audit team attended a meeting chaired by Ali to discuss the final report. Arul was also present.

Nafisah said Arul raised several matters in the report which needed to be dropped. Among them were several contentious words which he claimed were the opinion of the NAD and were not backed by evidence.

The trial before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues.