Witness deleted secret meeting emails without consulting MACC

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 11): Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, who participated in Low Taek Jho’s (Jho Low) top-secret 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) meetings over the years, told the High Court that he deleted his emails that transpired in 2018, containing information on the meetings’ agendas.

Amhari, testifying against former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the 1MDB-Tanore trial, revealed this during his cross-examination by Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah yesterday evening.

Surprisingly, the former special officer to Najib said he did not consult the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) when he deleted the emails earlier this year.

Notably, Amhari was arrested by the MACC in mid-2018, and is currently on police bail.

“I delete my emails annually so that my email [inbox] will have the capacity to receive more emails,” said Amhari.

“But you are not arrested annually. Are you arrested annually?” Muhammad Shafee responded sarcastically.

Amhari later also clarified he “didn’t know” whether he deleted email exchanges prior to 2018, despite his earlier claim that he normally clears his inbox at the start of each year. Previously, Amhari had testified that he frequently received emails and printed documents from Jho Low concerning 1MDB’s action plans.

This was because Jho Low, Amhari and his late superior-cum-Najib’s chief private secretary Datuk Azlin Alias had frequent top-secret meetings on 1MDB, allegedly sanctioned by Najib since the state-owned fund was first formed.

In his witness statement, Amhari had said he shredded most of the physical documents that he received from Jho Low, aside from a few that he may have forgotten to destroy. Those unshredded physical documents were given to the MACC after his arrest, as well as the password to his email address where Jho Low had sent the digital documents to.

Amhari also testified that he and Azlin each received a BlackBerry phone from Jho Low for their communications. Amhari was hand-picked by Najib to facilitate 1MDB bailout deals with China in mid-2016 — a year after Azlin’s passing and the international media reported that RM2.6 billion may have been siphoned from the state-owned fund.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Sept 11, 2019.

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