Former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali told the High Court that 1MDB investigations took a very long time to complete during his tenure because enforcement agencies could not trace key witnesses.
He said witnesses such as former chief investment officer Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, former legal counsel Jasmine Loo, former CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi and fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) had gone missing at the material time.
“I pushed the police, MACC to trace these missing witnesses through Interpol. To say that I sat on the investigation papers is not true and an insult to me,” he said, during re-examination by his lawyer M Visvanathan.
Apandi was responding to the contention raised by lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo who was representing DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang. The former AG has filed a defamation suit against Lim over allegations in the latter’s statement, “Dangerous fallacy to think Malaysia is on the road to integrity”.
He claimed the DAP supremo’s statement in 2019 depicted him as someone immoral and unethical, without integrity, and who practised double standards while holding the position of attorney-general.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission had also sought Interpol’s assistance to track down individuals believed to be linked to Low – Tan Kim Loong, former 1MDB executive director Tang Keng Chee and Geh Choh Heng, he said.
Shahrol was called as a witness in former prime minister Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial.
Apandi told the court that the AG’s Chambers (AGC) would never charge anyone without sufficient evidence.
“I inherited this SOP from a previous attorney-general (Apandi served as a DPP under former attorney-general Abu Talib Othman). Before we file any charges, we must have at least 95% evidence to secure a conviction,” he added.
Apandi said up until June 4, 2018, when he left the AGC, 1MDB-related investigations had not been completed.
Earlier today, lawyer Ramkarpal Singh, also representing Lim, questioned Apandi on a statement he had made in 2016 expressing satisfaction that MACC officers had met and recorded statements from witnesses, including the donor of RM2.6 billion to former prime minister Najib Razak.
Ramkarpal pointed out that the MACC did not, in fact, record any statement from the purported donor, Prince Saud Abdulaziz Al-Saud, in their investigations into Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation” case.
Ramkarpal: So, the MACC delegation failed to record statements about the four purported donation letters from Saud?
Apandi: Yes. I was made to understand that Prince Saud refused to meet anyone.
Ramkarpal asked Apandi whether the MACC obtained any banking documents to support claims that the RM2.6 billion was a donation.
Apandi said Prince Saud’s representative “confirmed” the RM2.6 billion was a donation.
The hearing continues before High Court judge Azimah Omar tomorrow. MACC commissioner Azam Baki will testify tomorrow. – FMT
Earlier report: Apr 5, Apandi: I never ordered 1MDB, SRC probe to be closed