Arul Kanda to testify in Najib’s trial, lawyer says statement misinterpreted

by FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic BERNAMA

FORMER 1 Malaysia Development Bhd CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy’s (picture) lawyer Datuk N Sivananthan clarifies that the former’s statements yesterday were taken out of context by certain news portals. 

Sivananthan said Arul Kanda remained a co-accused, even though he may be called as a prosecution witness, as he is being compelled to give evidence under the provisions of Section 63 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act.

“A number of media headlines sought to imply that my client, who is currently a co-accused in the trial, is ‘happily’ turning prosecution witness against his co-accused Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He added that it was his client’s position that when investigations were first commenced by the MACC into this matter, Arul Kanda voluntarily cooperated and provided the investigators with all information within his knowledge.

“His position then and his position now is that he should never have been charged and, in that context, should the learned judge decide that he is to become a prosecution witness under Section 63 of the MACC Act, then, in that situation, he is prepared to give evidence consistent with the statements he has previously given to the MACC,” Sivananthan said.

The prosecution’s application to call Arul Kanda as a witness was made under Section 63 of the MACC Act, which provides that in a situation where two or more people are charged with an offense under the same law, the court may require one or more of them to give evidence as witnesses for the prosecution if a written application is made by the public prosecutor.

According to Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the prosecution had already mentioned during its opening statement at the start of the trial that it intended to call Arul Kanda to testify.

Muhammad Shafee also said the charges against Arul Kanda should have been dropped before he was called to the stand.

Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan fixed June 24 to deliver his decision on the matter.