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Paragraph stating Jho Low’s presence at board meeting dropped from 1MDB audit report

13 Jan 2020 / 18:09 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Audit Department (JAN) was asked to drop a paragraph on the presence of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low (pix), at the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) Board of Directors Meeting in 2009, in the 1MDB Final Audit Report on the grounds of sensitivity, the High Court was told today.

Former audit director Saadatul Nafisah Bashir Ahmad, 65, said Tan Sri Shukry Mohd Salleh, who was former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s former principal private secretary secretary, issued the directive during a meeting on Feb 24, 2016.

She said it was also to avoid the facts from being exploited by the opposition.

“Checks by JAN found that Jho Low was present when the 1MDB board of directors approved the Islamic Medium Term Notes (IMTN) investment. JAN was of the view that there was an irregularity with Jho Low’s presence at the 1MDB Board of Directors meeting then as he did not have any post or role in 1MDB,“ she added.

Saadatul Nafisah, who is the seventh prosecution witness, said this when reading out her witness statement on the seventh day of the trial involving Najib and former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy who are charged with tampering the 1MDB final audit report.

“At the meeting on Feb 26, 2016 at the JAN office, 1MDB’s special audit team, including myself and former Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, held a discussion and Ambrin agreed to drop the paragraph on Jho Low’s presence at the Board of Directors’ meeting dated Sept 26, 2009.

“He said dropping the paragraph did not affect the overall 1MDB Final Audit Report and that JAN had no supporting documents to state that Jho Low was actually present at the Board Meeting,” she added.

When clarifying the minutes of the Board of Directors’ meeting dated Sept 26, 2009, Saadatul Nafisah said Jho Low’s name was included in the minutes of the meeting when the department was checking the documents for the audit process and minutes of meetings at the 1MDB office.

“However, at that time, JAN was not allowed at all to make any copies or take the minutes out of the 1MDB office.

“It was only after JAN repeatedly asked for the minutes of the meeting did 1MDB gave a verified copy of it , but the copy no longer had Jho Low’s name in the list of those who attended the meeting,” she added.

The hearing before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan continues tomorrow. - Bernama

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