Prosecution in bid to transfer 1MDB audit report case to High Court

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sessions Court was informed today that the prosecution in the case involving Najib Razak and former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy over alleged tampering with the state fund’s final audit report has filed an application to transfer the case to the High Court.

Deputy public prosecutor Amir Nasrudin informed judge Azura Alwi of this when the case came up for mention today.

“We have filed an application to transfer the case to the High Court. We request for a mention date after we are notified of the High Court’s decision on the application,” he said.

Azura then set April 5 for mention in the same court.

Amir later said the application to transfer the case was filed yesterday, but that the High Court had yet to fix a date to hear the application.

He added that the prosecution had also handed over 26 sets of case-related documents to the defence.

At the proceedings today, Najib was represented by Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee while N Sivananthan represented Arul.

On Dec 12 last year, Najib pleaded not guilty to using his position to order alterations to the 1MDB final audit report before it was tabled to the Public Accounts Committee to avoid any action against him.

He was charged, in his capacity as a public officer, with using his position to obtain gratification for himself, to evade disciplinary, civil or criminal action.

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.

He was charged under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 and faces imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of the gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if found guilty.

Arul was charged with abetting Najib in making the 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, filed under Section 28 (1)(c) of the MACC Act 2009, read together with Sections 23 (1) and 24 (1) of the same law, carries a similar sentence upon conviction.

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