MACC lifts freeze on Arul’s shares transaction accounts

Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has lifted the freeze on two shares transaction accounts belonging to former 1MDB executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy, his lawyer said today.

N Sivananthan subsequently withdrew Arul’s motion to pursue the matter before High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan.

Sivananthan said Arul had filed the action against the anti-graft agency on Monday for its failure to lift the freeze after the 12-month period expired on July 12.

Arul had also applied for damages and other reliefs deemed fit by the court.

However, Sivananthan said MACC informed him yesterday evening that the sanctions on both accounts had been lifted.

“MACC has unfrozen the two central depository system (CDS) accounts of my client that dealt with the transaction of shares,” he told the judge.

N Sivananthan.

“I am withdrawing the motion as it is academic. I also have instructions from my client not to seek damages.”

Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Isa Mohamed, who mentioned the case on behalf of MACC, confirmed the turn of events, following which Zaini struck out the motion.

Sivananthan told reporters that Arul’s seven bank and CDS accounts were frozen by MACC under Section 44 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act last year.

The freeze on the bank accounts were subsequently lifted.

Sivananthan said Arul filed for action regarding the CDS accounts as there had been no prosecution of forfeiture proceedings against him within the one-year period.

“The law allows MACC to freeze bank and CDS accounts, but only for a year. Such freeze must be lifted if there is no legal proceedings,” he said.

Sivananthan added that the freeze had nothing do with the prosecution of Arul over his role in the alleged tampering with the audit report of state investment fund 1MDB.

On Dec 12, Arul was charged with abetting former prime minister Najib Razak in the offence, which was said to have taken place at the Prime Minister’s Office between Feb 22 and 26, 2016.

Arul was charged under Section 28 (1)(c) of the MACC Act which carries a jail term of 20 years and a fine of RM10,000.

The High Court fixed 15 days beginning Nov 18 for the trial to be heard before Zaini.