1MDB Audit Trial: Najib Did Not Pressure Ambrin on Conflicting Financial Statements

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Najib did not choose any of the two 1MDB conflicting financial statements to be included in the final report.

Former auditor-general Tan Sri Ambrin Buang told the High Court today that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had never told him which of the two conflicting versions of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) 2014 financial statements that he (Najib) wanted to be included in the company final audit report.

Hari Anggara

The sixth prosecution witness was referring to his earlier testimony on Najib’s request not to enter the issue on the two versions of the financial statements in the 1MDB audit report during a meeting at the former premier’s office on Feb 22, 2016.

Ambrin, 70, also agreed with lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, representing Najib, that the former prime minister only assured him (Ambrin) that he will get to the bottom of the issue.

Shafee: Did the (former) prime minister said which of the two (1MDB) financial statements, that he prefers, A so don’t put B, or B so don’t put A.

Ambrin: No, no, he never said that.

Shafee: He (Najib) just said that “I will get to the bottom of the issue”.

Ambrin: Yes.

Ambrin, who is now a retiree, said this in the trial of Najib and former 1MDB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Arul Kanda Kandasamy for allegedly tampering with the 1MDB final audit report.

Najib, 67, was charged with using his position to order amendments to the 1MDB final audit report which was already ‘finalised’ by Auditor-General before the report was ‘finalised again’ and presented before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to avoid any action being taken against him.

Hairul Anuar Rahim

As for Arul Kanda, 44, he was charged with abetting Najib in making amendments to the report to protect the Pekan MP from being subjected to disciplinary, civil or criminal action in connection with 1MDB.

They were charged under 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.

In his earlier statement, Ambrin explained on the two versions of the 1MDB’s financial statements, where a version sent to the Companies Commission of Malaysia stated that 1MDB had used RM4.03 billion in funds raised from the Segregated Portfolio Company (SPC) investment to pay off the company’s debts.

Another version of the financial statement was sent to the Ministry of Finance, Deutsche Bank and AmBank stating that the RM4.03 billion in funds raised from SPC’s investment was still in 1MDB’s savings.

The two conflicting versions of 1MDB’s financial reports were among four issues agreed to be removed from the company audit report.

The witness also agreed with Shafee’s suggestion that Najib did not give specific instructions on the amendments to the audit report.

Shafee: The only thing is, he (Najib) was concerned about the two conflicting financial statements.

Ambrin: Yes, I was the one who informed him about the two conflicting financial statements.

Shafee: As a reasonable or intelligent prime minister, he (Najib) has to be concern (about the issue).

Ambrin: Yes, he should be, it’s a very important issue.

The witness also agreed with the lawyer’s suggestion that he was never pressured by Najib to do the amendments on the audit report, instead, he was pressured when he and his team from the National Audit Department (NAD) suddenly had to entertain the proposed amendments at the last minute when the report was ready to be presented to the PAC.

The final 1MDB audit report, which was to be presented on Feb 24, 2016, had to be tabled in March 2016 after several amendments were made.

Earlier, when asked by Shafee if he had ever succumbed to “threats” from Najib, then-chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa as well as Najib’s principal private secretary at the time, Shukry Mohd Salleh, Ambrin said: “There were no threats.”

He also told the court that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission had not made any threats against him when authorities took his statement on the audit report case.

The hearing before Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues tomorrow.

Earlier reports:

Aug 11, 1MDB Audit Trial: Ambrin Felt Insulted After Arul Kanda Allowed to Review His Audit Report

Jul 27, 1MDB Audit Trial: Arul Kanda Had No Power to Influence Probe

Jul 27, 1MDB Audit Trial: Ali Hamsa Denies Threatening Auditor-General Ambrin to Get Report Changed

Jul 23, 1MDB Audit Trial: August 7 for Decision on Striking out Application

Jun 24, 1MDB Audit Trial: Court Allows Prosecution to Amend Charges Against Najib, Arul Kanda

Jun 17, 1MDB Audit Trial: Defence Says Charge Amendments Substantial Not Just Typos

Jun 16, 1MDB Audit Trial: Prosecution Seeks to Amend Charges

Jun 16, 1MDB Audit Trial: No One Threatened Auditor-General into Altering Reports

Jun 16, 1MDB Audit Trial: Ali Hamsa Calls Taping of Meeting Unethical as No Permission Granted

Jan 16, 1MDB Audit Trial: Day Nine

Jan 14, 1MDB Audit Trial: Day Eight

Jan 14, 1MDB Audit Trial: Day Seven

Nov 29, 1MDB Audit Trial: Day Six

Nov 28, Former A-G Ambrin Told That Tarnishing Najib’s Reputation Akin to Sullying Nation’s Image

Nov 27, Ambrin: I Ordered Auditor Salwani to Save Sole 1MDB Audit Report, Destroy the Rest

Nov 21, 1MDB Audit Trial: Day Four

Nov 21, 1MDB Audit Trial: Day Three

Nov 20, 1MDB Audit Trial: Day Two

Nov 19, 1MDB Audit Trial: Day One