KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 ― The defence for Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the latter’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) corruption trial has rapped a witness for deleting his emails and not raising concerns over the “peculiar” behaviour of Low Taek Jho who prefers to meet in secrecy.
Former Special Officer to Najib, Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin was under the hot seat today when lead defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah questioned his move to delete his emails despite being under MACC bail and subsequently suggesting that he had done so to hide the extent of his relationship with Low.
Shafee: Did you delete all of your emails? Did you provide your email address and password?
Shafee: Email still available?
Amhari: No, not most, I have deleted. I deleted my emails regularly.
Shafee: When you gave password and email address to MACC, MACC never extracted emails?
Amhari: I don’t know.
Shafee: Are you saying that MACC never extracted your email? Why did you destroy them? Why did you delete it? You are under investigation. What are you hiding?
Amhari: I’m not hiding anything. They already have access to it. It’s an annual thing I do. Annually I would clear my inbox so the capacity of the email is available to receive more emails.
Shafee: I’m putting it to you that you had deleted your emails to hide the true nature of your relationship with Low.
Amhari: I disagree.
Amahri explained that the MACC had taken the password for his email after his arrest last year in June. He was released on MACC bail on July last year.
He explained that he had deleted the emails early of this year.
Shafee had also asked Amhari about instructions from Low to shred documents regarding 1MDB, which he had mostly complied with.
Shafee had asked Amhari whether shredding documents was a “small matter” to which the latter agreed.
Amhari then explained that he does not need to ask for permission from Najib each time he shreds any documents and that as a special officer within the Prime Minister Office, he was required to operate at a certain level of professionalism, stating that he was entrusted to carry out his duties without troubling the then prime minister with trifling matters.
Shafee then questioned why Amhari did not speak to Najib of Low’s “peculiar” behaviour and his insistence on secretly meeting him on multiple occasions along with his former immediate supervisor, the late Datuk Azlin Alias in Prince Hotel at night.
Shafee then referred to Amhari’s earlier statement, where the latter stated Low had often claimed to have met with Najib at his Jalan Langgak Duta house prior to their meeting in Prince Hotel.
In his witness statement, Amhari said Low would then discuss what was purportedly told to him by Najib in the meetings with Amhari and Azlin.
Shafee: So this habit of meeting at the hotel, who arranged it?
Amhari: It was chosen by Jho Low and agreed by Datuk Azlin.
Shafee: All these meetings in the hotel you did not check with PM the subject matter that Jho Low claims he had cleared with the prime minister?
Shafee: Can I ask what logic is that, if the prime minister knows Jho Low is going to discuss with the two of you, why not the four of you just discuss it in Jalan Langgak Duta?
Amhari: It doesn’t work that way.
Amhari: Because of the appointment that Datuk Seri Najib gives to anybody, the people who meet Datuk Seri Najib, sometimes he decides whether he wants an officer to accompany him or not. Sometimes he doesn’t. In this case, there wasn’t invitation from Datuk Seri Najib or Jho Low for us to join these meetings and we also did not probe further. It was the norm for other appointments, not just for Jho Low. And later on, we would get calls to follow up on discussions, whoever it is, including Jho Low.