Asia Malaysia MACC Chief on Najib's reaction to released recordings, “He has the right...

MACC Chief on Najib’s reaction to released recordings, “He has the right to do whatever he wants to do”

Latheefa Koya, the MACC chief commissioner said that the clips were authentic and were being released as an issue of public interest

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Putrajaya—After the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) made nine audio recordings public on Wednesday (Jan 8) involving conversations between former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and other individuals, Mr Najib took to Facebook to show his dissatisfaction. Moreover, he called the release of the clips invalid.

But according to Latheefa Koya, the MACC chief commissioner, the contents of the recordings of phone conversations, said to be dating from between January 5 and July 29, 2016, and are in connection to the 1MDB scandal, were “shocking, sordid and very disturbing.”

Ms Latheefa said, upon hearing of Mr Najib’s reaction, “I have only one answer…he has the right to do whatever he wants to do. Everyone, including members of the public, has the right to express their views.” 

The MACC head said that the clips were being released as an issue of public interest.

The people whose voices were believed to be on the recordings were Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed Zayed Al-Nahyan, former MACC chief Dzulkifli Ahmad, along with the former Prime Minister and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, among others.

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Ms Latheefa vouched for the authenticity of the audio clips, which she said had been given to MACC earlier this month. “We can confirm their absolute authenticity. The contents are shocking; it’s a cover-up and subversion of justice. After receiving it, we have conducted our own forensic to determine its authenticity and the people involved,” she said, adding, “We will submit the recordings to the authorities including the police as some of the offences involved the Penal Code.”

She added, “All these things are pretty scary because all this happened in the midst of serious investigations of a mega scandal and corruption over the last few years. Here we are listening to conversations completely undermining the institution that is supposed to … seek justice.

There are various serious issues that have arisen including abuse of power, criminal conspiracy, obstruction of justice, compromising national security, fabrication of false evidence through foreign assistance, and connivance.”

In one clip, a woman, believed to be Mdm Rosmah, is heard telling the former Prime Minister, “I don’t like this. Darling, you are the prime minister, you should take charge and not anybody else okay? You got goons around you to advise you.”

Another clip featured Mr Najib asking the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi’s assistance in drafting a loan agreement that would show that Riza Aziz, Madam Rosmah’s son and Mr Najib’s stepson, receiving funds from International Petroleum Investment Company, an Emirati state fund, instead of from 1MDB.

The former Prime Minister can be heard saying in the course of the conversation, “I don’t want him to be a victim when he was totally unaware of the source of money.”

Ms Latheefa described one clip this way, “There was an obvious leak of information from the AGC to the person we believe was a subject of investigation.

The contents are shocking; it’s a cover-up and subversion of justice … In the public interest, we’re making public the contents.”

She added that she did not believe the recordings would prejudice the former Prime MInister’s trials. -/TISG

Read related: Najib tells court about shock and surprise over large sums of money in his private bank accounts

Najib tells court about shock and surprise over large sums of money in his private bank accounts

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