Najib issued letter exempting 1MDB from NAD audit, High Court told

KUALA LUMPUR: National sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) was exempted from an audit by the National Audit Department (NAD) in 2009 after former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak issued a letter on the matter.

The High Court heard from Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) senior officer Nur Aida Ariffin, 37, that the Finance Ministry, through the Treasury secretary-general, had recommended for 1MDB to be audited by the NAD as part of due diligence.

Nur Aida said Najib however issued a letter on Dec 22, 2009, stating that 1MDB must be audited by an external professional auditor appointed by 1MDB’s board of directors.

“In line with this directive, the 1MDB board of directors appointed Ernst & Young to audit 1MDB’s financial statement,” the witness added.

She was reading her witness statement in an examination-in-chief conducted by Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib.

Najib, 70, is on trial for 25 charges in total – four for abuse of power that allegedly brought him the financial benefit to the tune of RM2.28bil; and 21 for money laundering involving the same amount of money.

The hearing continues before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah on Friday.