Najib can do ‘whatever he wants’, says MACC chief in face of legal threat over tapes

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Latheefa Koya visits Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu at the State Secretariat Building in Ipoh January 9, 2020. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Latheefa Koya visits Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu at the State Secretariat Building in Ipoh January 9, 2020. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, Jan 9 — Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Latheefa Koya today said Datuk Seri Najib Razak has the right to initiate any action he wants in response to her assertion of a conspiracy at the highest level of government during his Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.

“It’s well within his rights to do whatever he wants to do regarding this issue,” she told reporters here after an official visit to Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu at the State Secretariat Building here.

She declined to comment further when pressed if she and the MACC are bracing for a lawsuit from the former prime minister as suggested by his lawyer yesterday in the wake of its broadcast of recorded conversations purported between Najib and several prominent public figures, including the Abu Dhabi crown prince, at the height of the 1MDB financial scandal, which is the subject of several court cases here and abroad.

Latheefa was also asked to comment on Najib’s claim that yesterday’s release of the audio clips is a deliberate ploy to sway the upcoming Kimanis parliamentary vote on January 18.

Responding, the MACC chief said it is up to the individuals to say whatever they want.

Yesterday, Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said he and his team are seriously looking into initiating subjudice and contempt proceedings against the MACC and Latheefa, while repeatedly questioning their conduct and objectives in making the recordings public.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak (right) speaks to lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya March 15, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Datuk Seri Najib Razak (right) speaks to lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya March 15, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Shafee and Najib also accused Latheefa of purposely releasing the audio clips due to the upcoming Kimanis by-election.

During a special press conference at the MACC headquarters yesterday morning, Latheefa released recordings of conversations between January 5, 2016 and July 29 that same year, around the period when the US Justice Department announced its anti-kleptocracy investigation into 1MDB.

Aside from Najib, other recorded conversations involved Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, ex-MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Umno’s Baling MP Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and several foreign dignitaries were also revealed.

Latheefa also said that the MACC has submitted the first round of audio clips to the police.

“We have submitted the first round of the audio clips to the police and we are waiting for them to open the investigation paper. 

“What we have exposed needs to be investigated as there are some elements of wrongdoing in the audio clips,” she said.

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