9 thumb drives on 1MDB audio clips sent to aide’s home, Latheefa tells court

MACC chief Latheefa Koya says it was ‘no surprise if people were listening to the conversations’ as Najib Razak was under probe in the 1MDB scandal.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Latheefa Koya told the High Court that an officer to her deputy was the first person who received the nine audio recordings purportedly linked to 1MDB and SRC International dealings.

She said MACC deputy commissioner Azam Baki informed her on Jan 3 that nine thumb drives were delivered to his special officer’s house in the morning.

“I directed Azam to look into the contents,” she said, when testifying in Najib Razak’s SRC International trial.

She added her officers spent several days verifying the contents before deciding to disclose the recordings at a press conference on Jan 8.

“It was a shocking revelation to cover up and fabricate evidence involving individuals,” Latheefa said, when questioned by Najib’s lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, on the purpose of making the recordings public.

Latheefa was called as a witness in Najib’s trial, as the defence team wanted to admit the audio recordings to support their case.

Shafee then asked Latheefa if she was aware that under Section 43 of MACC Act, the public prosecutor must give his consent to allow investigators to intercept phone calls of individuals under probe.

Shafee: You cannot determine if these recordings were products of illegal interception? In order to do so, you must determine if there are investigations into the person.

Latheefa: In this case, Datuk Seri Najib is being investigated. No surprise if people are listening to the conversations.

The lawyer then asked Latheefa whether she had checked with then attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali on whether Apandi had given his consent for the phone calls to be tapped.

“We did not establish that it was MACC which intercepted. Therefore, the need to check with the AG does not arise,” she said.

The hearing continues on March 9 before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali. The judge told Latheefa to produce the standing orders of the MACC chief commissioner to the court.

Shafee had earlier wanted to ask questions on the standing orders but Latheefa said she needed to confirm the provisions in the standing orders.

Najib is facing six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust in the transfer of RM42 million from SRC International to his personal accounts.

He is also accused of abusing his power as prime minister by giving government guarantees on SRC International’s RM4 billion loan from Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP).