For the first time ever, Malaysia's former PM, ex-DPM claim trial on same day

Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex this morning. (Photo by Patrick Goh/The Edge)

Former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi giving a thumbs-up to the media at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex this morning. (Photo by Patrick Goh/The Edge)

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 18): Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi are claiming trial on the same day — a first in Malaysian history.

Najib is claiming trial before High Court judge Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan today to tampering with the final 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) audit report in order to gain protection from disciplinary, civil or criminal action before the report was finalised and presented to the Public Accounts Committee.

He allegedly committed the offence at the Prime Minister's Office in Putrajaya between Feb 22 and Feb 26, 2016.

The charge, framed under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, carries a maximum of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

Meanwhile, 1MDB former president and chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy has been charged with abetting Najib in the tampering of the audit report.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid is claiming trial today to 47 charges, 12 of which are for criminal breach of trust (CBT), eight for bribery and 27 for money laundering involving tens of millions of ringgit belonging to Yayasan Akalbudi.