1MDB audit tampering case: Najib, Arul Kanda to know fate tomorrow

KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court here will decide tomorrow on whether Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (picture) and former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy to enter defence or will be acquitted on 1MDB audit tampering case.

Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan, who has been elevated to the appellate court recently, will pronounce his decision at 9am.

Last year, Arul Kanda took the stand as a witness in the case after the judge allowed the prosecution’s application under Section 63 of the Malaysian-Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) to call him as a witness in the case.

The prosecution closed its case on Sept 7 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 audit director Saadatul Nafisah Bashir Ahmad.

Najib, 70, who is currently serving a 12-year jail sentence for misappropriating SRC International Sdn Bhd’s funds, 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, 46, 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, Putrajaya between Feb 22 and 26, 2016.

Both of them 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.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib will act for the prosecution while lawyers Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Datuk N.Sivananthan will appear for Najib and Arul Kanda respectively.

Najib still has four pending court cases involving the misappropriation of RM2.3 billion of 1MDB funds. So far the prosecution had called 44 witnesses.

He also has two other cases involving criminal breach of trust amounting to RM6.6 billion over payments to the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and money laundering involving SRC International funds worth RM27 million. Both cases are at the case management stage. – Bernama