Politics

Malaysia Chronicle


KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court was told today that 1MDB directors and management staff were “pressured” by their shareholder and former prime minister Najib Razak to resolve its 2013 financial statement.

KPMG’s managing partner Johan Idris told Najib’s abuse of power trial that he was informed about this during a meeting between the auditors, management staff and directors sometime in 2013.

“Some of them came to me and said they wanted us (auditors) to sign off on the financial statement as they were under pressure.

“I think the management and directors didn’t know about (the real value of) the Brazen Sky investment.

“We had no alternative but to push them and say we wanted to see the shareholder (Najib) to seek clarification on whether he knew about it,” Johan said when questioned by defence counsel Shafee Abdullah on KPMG’s meeting with 1MDB representatives.

KPMG had questioned 1MDB’s US$2.3 billion investment in Brazen Sky Ltd as it could not verify the authenticity of the investment. It also refused to sign off on the 2013 financial statement.

Subsequently, Johan and two KPMG partners went to meet Najib at his Langgak Duta house on Dec 15, 2013. However, only Johan was allowed to enter the house while the others had to wait outside.

Saying that Najib, during the meeting, had merely mentioned that he wished to see the financial statement signed off by Dec 31, 2013, Shafee asked: “Did he say ‘if you (Johan) don’t close the accounts by Dec 31, you will be sacked’?”

Johan replied that Najib had said he “would like to see the accounts closed”, without answering whether he was “pressured” by Najib to do so.

Najib is standing trial on 25 charges of abuse of power and money laundering over alleged 1MDB funds amounting to RM2.28 billion deposited into his AmBank accounts between February 2011 and December 2014.

Deputy public prosecutor Deepa Nair Thevaharan said the prosecution would call former 1MDB chairman Bakke Salleh to testify on the next date.

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