KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy’s audit tampering hearing scheduled for today at the High Court here has been postponed to March 28 as the former prime minister’s lead counsel is currently not in the country.
Deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Mustafa P. Kunyalam, who confirmed the matter, said Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah will only be back from London tomorrow and has to be under self-quarantine for five days.
The prosecutor said that the trial dates were also vacated this week as Arul Kanda’s counsel Datuk N. Sivananthan has other court matters to attend to.
“The trial will resume on March 28,” he said after today’s proceedings were conducted before High Court Deputy Registrar Catherine Nicholas due to the above matters.
It was reported that Muhammad Shafee went to London to meet a prospective Queen’s Counsel (QC) to represent Najib in his appeal to quash his conviction and sentencing in the RM42 million SRC International case.
When the hearing resumes, former 1MDB chairman Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh, 67, is expected to continue with his testimony.
Najib, 68, 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, 45, 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, Federal Territory of Putrajaya between Feb 22 and 26, 2016.
Both of them were charged under Section 23 (1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, 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.