Thursday, February 25, 2021

Rosmah-Najib’s ‘Can I advise you something?’ phone call admitted as evidence

This reverses the judge's earlier ruling on the audio clips of Rosmah, Najib and several other individuals implicated in the 1MDB saga.

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An audio recording of Rosmah Mansor in a telephone conversation revealed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) early last year can be admitted as evidence in her corruption trial, the High Court ruled today.

The decision by judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan reversed his earlier ruling on the recordings of conversations involving Rosmah, her husband Najib Razak and several other individuals, revealed by then-MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya in January last year.

The audio files included a heated conversation between a man and a woman whom MACC identified as Rosmah and Najib, in what has come to be known as the “Can I advise you something?” phone call.

In the recording, Rosmah was heard telling her husband to take charge in managing the 1MDB scandal.

“Can I advise you something?” she was heard saying.

“I don’t like this. Darling, you are the prime minister, you should take charge and not anybody else okay? You got goons around you to advise you.”

The audio file was one of nine recordings released by MACC involving Najib and others implicated in the 1MDB saga, including Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed Zayed Al-Nahyan, former MACC chief Dzulkifli Ahmad and Baling MP Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim.

The anti-graft body had said they pointed to “abuse of power and fabrication of false evidence”.

“There are various serious issues that have arisen including abuse of power, criminal conspiracy, obstruction of justice, compromising national security, fabrication of false evidence through foreign assistance, and connivance,” Latheefa had said at a press conference where all the tapes were played.

She had said the audio clips were handed to the agency anonymously and that they were authentic.

The High Court today ordered Rosmah to enter her defence on three graft charges in relation to a solar hybrid project worth RM1.25 billion for 369 rural schools in Sarawak.

Rosmah faces one charge of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5 million from former Jepak Holdings managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin.

Zaini had allowed a few seconds of the recording to be played during the case hearing last year, despite objections from the defence.

Former education minister Mahdzir Khalid, a witness in the trial, had then identified the voices as those of Rosmah and Najib.

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