1MDB case: Malaysian anti-graft chief to be questioned in audio clips probe, amid claim of plot to smear her reputation

Malaysia's anti-graft chief Latheefa Koya had alleged they showed a "criminal conspiracy at the highest level" and was certain of its "absolute authenticity".
PHOTO: AP

PETALING JAYA - The Malaysian police will call up the country's anti-graft chief Latheefa Koya as part of its investigations into an alleged criminal conspiracy that was made public by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) last week in a series of audio recordings that the MACC said involved former prime minister Najib Razak.

"We will be calling Latheefa Koya to help with our investigations. There are a few questions that we need answered," Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador told reporters on Monday (Jan 13).

Tan Sri Abdul Hamid said Ms Latheefa was being questioned as it was important for the police to establish the authenticity of the recordings and where they came from.

He added that if there was any legal ambiguity involved, they would seek assistance from the Attorney General.

The nine audio recordings, allegedly involving Najib's wife and other high-ranking officials, were revealed by the MACC on Jan 8.

The clips, which date back to 2016, had allegedly showed an attempt to manipulate investigations and other fraudulent acts aimed at concealing missing funds from the scandal-hit 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) state fund.

Najib is facing 42 graft charges related to the 1MDB and has pleaded not guilty, claiming he was a victim of fugitive financier Low Taek Jho. Low has denied those claims.

The MACC had said it received the recordings anonymously just after New Year's Day. It has come under criticism that it had acted unprofessionally in releasing the recordings.

Ms Latheefa had alleged they showed a "criminal conspiracy at the highest level" and was certain of its "absolute authenticity".

Asked how the law enforcement agencies determined who to perform electronic surveillance on, Mr Abdul Hamid explained that there were provisions under the law for wire tapping, which involved crimes such as kidnapping and organised crime.

"I think it is also the same for the MACC," he said.

Meanwhile, Ms Latheefa on Monday claimed a "criminal plot" to besmirch her reputation has emerged following the commission's disclosure of the recordings.

"It has now come to my knowledge that in reaction to my disclosure on Jan 8, a criminal plot has been set in motion to fabricate and distribute materials intended to cast a slur upon my personal reputation," she said in a statement Monday night.

"We believe that a lawyer is among the culprits involved in this plot, " she said, adding that a police report would be made Tuesday (Jan 14).

She added that she would not falter from discharging her duties as the country's top graft buster.

"My special officer will lodge a police report early Tuesday morning and hand over evidence of this to the police," she said.

"I wish to send a clear message to those who are behind this, that I will not be threatened or intimidated from carrying out my duty as the Chief Commissioner of the MACC," she added.

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