Najib’s audio scandal: MACC breached OSA, committed sub judice, says Shafee

Najib’s audio scandal: MACC breached OSA, committed sub judice, says Shafee

PUCHONG: MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya breached the Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA) by leaking confidential telephone calls involving senior government leaders and foreign dignitaries.

 “What puzzles me is that Latheefa told the media that she made the expose as it was a matter of national security. She claimed that even the prime minister was not told about it.

“But since when do we reveal matters of national security to the public? State secrets are supposed to be probed by the relevant agencies.

“By her own admission, Latheefa had breached the OSA,” said former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s lawyer, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Najib posted Shafee’s rebuttal to Latheefa on the former’s Facebook page.

Yesterday, Latheefa revealed seven audio clips, purportedly exposing Najib, senior government officials and foreign dignitaries trying to do damage control after the 1MDB scandal went public in 2016.

One audio clip featured Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor berating her husband for his weak handling of the crisis and urged Najib to take charge of the matter and not let people make a fool out of him.

Another audio clip featured Najib speaking to a royalty from the United Arab Emirates, asking the latter to help his stepson Riza Aziz who was being watched by the US Justice Department.

Shafee said that Latheefa’s expose could be also be sub judice as the 1MDB case was still being tried in the court.

“This expose was meant to make Najib, Rosmah and several senior government officials look less credible in the eyes of the public. These are the things that can influence a court, which is why it is called sub judice,” he said.

An irate Shafee then criticised Latheefa for her expose, saying the MACC chief could have just produced the evidence to the court if she was really interested to resolve the 1MDB case.

He added that being a veteran lawyer herself, Latheefa should know better than exposing a material evidence before investigating the matter first.

Shafee said that his client viewed the matter seriously and would investigate the audio clips.

“Rest assured we will look into the matter; be it from the contempt of court angle and sub judice,” he said.

Speaking to reporters, Shafee claimed that the audio clips could get dismissed by the courts if the whistleblower refuses to come forward.

He also said based on previous exposes such as this, the court needs provenance, history and authenticity of the material evidence before being deemed admissible by the court.

“This is the same as when former DAP leader, the late Karpal Singh and Lim Kit Siang claimed that they had video evidence of former MIC leader DP Vijendran’s sexual misconduct.

“However, the court rejected the video evidence as it did not have provenance and history,” he said.

By G Vinod