High court hearing of Najib, Arul Kanda’s tampering of 1MDB report case

The case involving former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and  1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)  former Chief Executive Officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy for alleged tampering of the 1MDB final audit report will be heard at the High Court.

The decision was made by judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali after allowing an application by the prosecution to transfer the case for hearing from the Sessions Court to the High Court.

The notice to transfer the case was filed last Feb 28 under Section 417 of the Criminal procedure Code.

Arul Kanda Kandasamy (Bernama photo)

“The application today is by the prosecution made under Section 417 of the Criminal Procedure Code, to transfer the case from the Sessions Court to the High Court.

“I was informed counsel for the respondents (Najib dan Arul Kanda) have no objection,” said deputy public prosecutor Amir Nasrudin at the hearing of the application.

Lawyers Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee  and Datuk N.Sivananthan, representing Najib, 66, and Arul Kanda, 43, respectively, confirmed that the defence had no objection to it.

However, the date for the case management at the High Court will be fixed later, and the case will be called for mention at the Sessions Court on April 5 to inform the latest development.

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

The charge was framed under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, which provides an imprisonment for up to 20 years and fine of not less that five times the amount of the gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if found guilty

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.

The charge was filed under Section 28 (1) (c) of the MACC Act 2009, read together with Section 23 (1) & 24 (1) of the same law, which provides a similar sentence, upon conviction.

On Jan 4, Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi allowed the prosecution’s application to have a joint trial for Najib and Arul Kanda.