KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has allowed the prosecution in Najib Razak’s 1MDB trial case to amend three of the 24 charges brought against the former prime minister.
Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah granted the application on grounds that the amendments would not prejudice Najib or cause him to suffer any injustice.
“There is nothing sinister (in seeking to amend the charges) as alleged by the defence.
“The Federal Constitution gives the public prosecutor the power to conduct proceedings in the court, and this also includes the power to amend charges,” he said.
Sequerah said Najib’s lawyers will be allowed the right to recall certain witnesses for further cross-examination over the amended charges.
Lawyer Shafee Abdullah said the defence team is considering who they wish to recall to testify.
The prosecution had said the amendments were necessary following the testimony of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) analyst Adam Ariff Roslan.
The prosecution wanted to amend the quantum of gratification stated in the fourth abuse of power charge faced by Najib from RM49.9 million to RM45.8 million.
This came after Adam told the court he had traced a sum of RM45.8 million from a RM975 million loan taken by 1MDB to Najib’s account.
As regards the two money laundering charges, the prosecution is seeking to amend the quantums stated in the 10th and 21st charges, from RM652.6 million to RM515.7 million, and from RM12.4 million to RM11.4 million, respectively.
The proposed amendments to the two charges came after investigating officer Foo Wei Min gave his testimony.
After the amendment was granted, the charges were read again to Najib, who affirmed his plea of “not guilty”.
Najib is standing trial on 25 charges of abuse of power and money laundering of alleged 1MDB funds totalling RM2.28 billion deposited into his AmBank accounts between February 2011 and December 2014.
A total of 48 witnesses have testified since the trial started on Aug 28, 2019.