I Felt Intimidated By Najib S Remarks On 1mdb Financial Statement Says Auditor
KPMG managing partner Johan Idris met with Najib Razak at the former prime minister’s house in Langgak Duta on Dec 15, 2013. (KPMG pic)KUALA LUMPUR: A senior partner from KPMG told the High Court in Najib Razak’s 1MDB money laundering and power abuse trial he felt “intimidated” when the former prime asked him to sign off the company’s 2013 financial statement.
KPMG’s managing partner, Johan Idris, said this when under re-examination by ad hoc prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram today.
Sri Ram had asked Johan about the meeting he had with Najib at his house in Langgak Duta on Dec 15, 2013.
“You were asked questions during cross-examination, based on the minutes of the meeting, and you confirmed that the minutes did not show there was any pressure exerted by the accused (Najib),” Sri Ram told him.
“But you were there at ground zero. So was there any ‘pressure’ at all to you?”
Johan replied: “I would put it as (a form of) intimidation … an intimidation for us to conclude and sign off on the 2013 financial statement.”
Previously, the court had heard that KPMG questioned 1MDB’s US$2.3 billion investment in Brazen Sky Ltd as it could not verify the authenticity of the investment. The auditors also refused to sign off on the 2013 financial statement.
KPMG was subsequently replaced by Deloitte.
Najib’s lawyer, Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohamed, objected to Sri Ram’s line of questioning, saying that the “intimidation” word was never used during the defence’s cross-examination.
“He (Johan) never mentioned ‘intimidation’ (in his reply),” he said.
But Sri Ram said: “You can’t stop the witness from answering the question.”
Trial judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah then said the defence could raise this issue during submissions.
Sri Ram then asked Johan whether Najib, during the Dec 15, 2013 meeting, had disclosed to him that he received “large sums of money”, purportedly from 1MDB.
Wan Aizuddin again objected to the question, saying “this was not what we cross (examined) him on”.
Sequerah again told the defence to raise the matter during submissions.
Najib faces 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.
The hearing continues with the prosecution calling its next witness, former 1MDB company secretary Goh Gaik Kim. - FMT
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