Altering 1MDB: Court asks prosecution to expedite giving documents to defence

29 Aug 2019 / 12:46 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecution for alleged tampering of the 1MDB final audit report case, involving Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy, has been asked to expedite giving documents and witness statements to the defence to give the lawyers enough time and for the trial to proceed as scheduled.

High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan also asked the prosecution to prepare all the documents required by the defence.

“I hope the prosecution team can produce all the documents, as many as it can, to give the defence enough time.

“I understand not everything is possible, but I want as many as they can ... I don’t want this case to be delayed,” he said and fixed Oct 7 for case management.

Deputy public prosecutor Rozaliana Zakaria had earlier informed the court that the prosecution was still in the process of preparing a list of witnesses and witness statements for the trial.

“The prosecution is requesting a date for case management as there are several documents regarding the witness statements that have yet to be submitted and finalised by the prosecution,” she said during the case management.

The court previously set Nov 18 to Nov 29, 2019 and Jan 13 to Jan 17, 2020 for trial.

On Jan 4, 2019, the sessions court here granted the prosecution’s application for the Najib and Arul Kanda cases to be heard together.

Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah represented Najib, 66, while Datuk N. Sivananthan acted on behalf of Arul Kanda, 43.

On Dec 12, 2018, Najib was charged with using his position to order amendments to the 1MDB final audit report before it was tabled to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to avoid any action against him.

He was charged, in his capacity as a public officer, which was then the Prime Minister, with using the position to obtain gratification for himself, which was to evade disciplinary, civil or criminal action against him in connection with 1MDB, by ordering alterations to the 1MDB final audit report before it was finalised and tabled to the PAC, where he directly had interest in.

The Pekan MP was accused of committing the offence at the Prime Minister’s Department Complex, Federal Government’s Administrative Centre, the Federal Territory of Putrajaya between Feb 22 and Feb 26, 2016.

The charge is framed under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 which carries a maximum jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

Arul Kanda was charged with abetting Najib in making amendments to the report to protect the Pekan MP from being subjected to disciplinary, civil or criminal action in connection with 1MDB, at the same place and time and in accordance with Section 28 (1) (c) of the MACC Act 2009 read with Section 23 (1) & 24 (1) of the same act which provides for similar punishment, if found guilty. - Bernama

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