IGP confirms received all MACC audio tapes; probe to include use of OSA

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur January 13, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur January 13, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador today confirmed that the police have received all nine audio tapes from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), that showed an alleged cover-up surrounding the 1MDB investigation back in 2016, during the Barisan Nasional’s (BN) administration.

He said the police have started investigations and all individuals implicated in the recordings will be called for a statement including MACC’s chief commissioner Latheefa Koya, who played the audio recordings to the media last week.

“Yes, we have received all nine recordings and we will cover all angles, on how it was obtained and whether it is authentic,” he said.

Hamid said police have opened investigations under Section 203A of the Penal Code to determine the source of the information leak and the Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA) for allegedly releasing classified information.

When asked how the police planned to trace the sender of the audio tapes since the MACC protects the individual’s identity under the whistleblower act, Hamid said, “Yes, we will call MACC’s Latheefa and will ask for details to be given. We will maybe also get advice from the Attorney General on how to move forward.”

On January 8, the MACC played audio recordings of conversations involving Najib and other high-profile individuals and dignitaries that Latheefa described as leakage of information from the AGC.

Latheefa said the information leak showed a conspiracy at the highest level of the BN government at the time.

The recordings — nine sets of audio clips of about 45 minutes in total duration — contained phone conversations involving seven individuals including Najib, with a total of 13 names mentioned.

The first audio clip featured a conversation between Najib and former MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad, who was a deputy public prosecutor in the AGC then.

Dzulkifli was heard briefing Najib on an investigation paper in January 2016, which Latheefa said should be the one on former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) unit, SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Other recorded phone calls involving Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed Zayed Al-Nahyan, Umno’s Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and several foreign dignitaries were also revealed.

In the recording with his wife, Najib is told by Rosmah to take charge of the situation, who added that he was the prime minister (at the time). “I don’t like this. Darling, you are the prime minister. You lead,” she was heard saying.

Latheefa said the call was made about a week after the US Department of Justice (DoJ) had filed a civil forfeiture suit to seize US$1 billion believed to be embezzled from 1MDB.

In another explosive recording, Najib had called the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed Zayed Al-Nahyan and pleaded for help with money-laundering accusations faced by his Hollywood filmmaker stepson Riza Aziz at the height of the 1MDB financial scandal.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in commenting on Latheefa’s move in releasing the audio recording which some labeled as unethical said it was no different from the public display of items seized from Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2018.

He said following police raids on Najib’s residence and the Pavilion Residences, personal items belonging to Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor which were seized in the operations were also shown to the public.

He said: “It’s the same, no difference... We do not hide from the public until there is a trial.”


 

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