Prosecution hands over MACC audio clips on 1MDB, SRC dealings

Former prime minister Najib Razak.

KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution team in Najib Razak’s SRC International trial today handed over the purported audio recordings of discussions between the former prime minister and several previous senior government officers on dealings linked to 1MDB and its former unit.

Ad hoc prosecutor V Sithambaram said the prosecution did not object to Najib’s application, filed to compel the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to produce the recordings played at a press conference for his inspection.

“However, we wish to add a caveat by making the recordings available. We reserve our right to object to its admissibility in the case,” he added.

Najib had said the recordings were crucial to his defence in the ongoing cases on SRC International and 1MDB.

His lawyer, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, said they wanted to go through the recordings to determine if they were the same as those played by MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya in the agency’s press conference on Jan 8.

“We will determine whom to subpoena later. Most likely it will be Latheefa,” he said.

He added that the defence had prepared two witnesses, Dzulkifli Ahmad and Shukry Mohd Salleh, to testify regarding the content of the recordings.

MACC had released nine audio clips purportedly of Najib, his wife Rosmah Mansor, Dzulkifli and United Arab Emirates (UAE) crown prince Sheikh Mohammed Zayed Al Nahyan.

According to MACC, others involved in the conversations were former attorney-generals Abdul Gani Patail and Mohamed Apandi Ali, Baling MP Abdul Azeez Rahim, Ihsan Perdana managing director Shamsul Anwar Sulaiman, former SRC International director Suboh Md Yassin, former SRC International CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, Abdul Aziz Ismail and Najib’s then-principal private secretary, Shukry Mohd Salleh.

Others included UAE president Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, International Petroleum Investment Company chairman Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan and Mubadala Development Company CEO Khaldoon Al-Mubarak.

Najib’s stepson Riza Aziz, former Bank Negara officer Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin and Umno’s Khairul Azwan Harun were also named by MACC.

MACC said a conversation between Najib and the crown prince showed an attempt to cover up alleged money laundering activities in the production of Hollywood movie “The Wolf of Wall Street”, produced by Riza.

Najib was also given copies of the MACC statements from witnesses recorded by the authorities throughout the course of investigation.

“We agree to hand over the statements from six witnesses who cannot be found or are no longer alive,” Sithambaram said.

The six witnesses are former SRC International CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, Putra Perdana Bhd director Jerome Lee, as well as Izzad Izzairi Fikri Rosman, Noriyah Ahmad, and Zainal Abidin Osman.

The hearing continues on Feb 25 before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.