Decision on Najib, Arul Kanda’s 1MDB audit report tampering case moved to March 3

KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court set March 3 as the new date to decide whether former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (picture) and former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy will be acquitted or ordered to enter their defence on the audit tampering case.

Previously, Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan, who has been elevated to the appellate court, set Jan 30 to deliver his decision.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib when contacted, confirmed the new date and said that he received an email from the court today.

In the email, deputy registrar Catherine Nicholas wrote that the Jan 30 date has been vacated.

The prosecution closed its case on Sept 7, 2022 after calling 16 witnesses, including former Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa (now deceased); former Auditor-Generals Tan Sri Ambrin Buang and Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad;  former 1MDB chairman Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh and former National Audit Department (NAD) audit director Saadatul Nafisah Bashir Ahmad.

Najib, 69, is charged with using his position to order amendments to the 1MDB final audit report before it was presented to the Public Accounts Committee to avoid any action being taken against him, while Arul Kanda, 45, is charged with abetting Najib in making the amendments to the report, to protect Najib from being subjected to action.

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

Both men were charged under Section 23 (1) of the MACC Act, which provides for a 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. – Bernama