October 7, 2022

Najib seeking to postpone trial on tampering with 1MDB audit report

2 min read

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has filed an application to postpone his other trial, scheduled to begin on Monday (Nov 18), where he faces charges of tampering with 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) audit report.

The notice of motion was filed on Wednesday (Nov 13) through Messrs Shafee & Co.

He named the public prosecutor and former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy as respondents.

In his supporting affidavit, Najib asked for the hearing to be moved to Jan 13 on grounds that he would suffer prejudice if he and his lawyers were not allowed time to prepare for his defence in the SRC International case, where he has been ordered to enter his defence by a different court.

The defence trial is expected to commence on Dec 3.

“This gives me and my defence team a limited time of about two weeks to prepare for my defence, including reviewing the witnesses which should either be offered for cross-examination or made available, interviewing the potential defence witnesses and reviewing the statements of the potential witnesses or undertake any other action necessary to effectively prepare for the defence case, ” he said.

The adjournment, he said, was for him to be afforded a fair trial in pursuance of his constitutional rights and also in the best interest of the administration of justice.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of this motion presently.

The trial he is seeking to postpone was fixed for a 15-day hearing.

The dates were fixed from Nov 18 to 29, and Jan 13 to 17 next year and the prosecution was expected to call about 30 witnesses to testify in the proceedings.

Najib and Arul Kanda are represented by lawyers Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Datuk N. Sivananthan, respectively.

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 his 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 Complex of the Prime Minister’s Department, Federal Government’s Administrative Centre, Putrajaya between Feb 22 and Feb 26,2016.

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.

Related stories:

1MDB trial postponed as Najib has swollen eyes

1MDB trial stalled as Najib a no-show

1MDB trial: Judge warns Najib to not repeat postponement of trial

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