Prosecution applies to transfer 1MDB audit tampering case to High Court

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 1): The Sessions Court was today informed that the prosecution in the case involving former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy over the alleged tampering of 1MDB’s final audit report, had filed an application to have the case transferred to the HIgh Court.  

Deputy public prosecutor Amir Nasrudin informed Judge Azura Alwi, 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.

When met by Bernama, Amir informed that the application to transfer the case was filed yesterday but the High Court has not fixed a date to hear the application.

He said the prosecution had yesterday handed over 26 sets of case-related documents to the defence.

At the proceedings today lawyer Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee represented Najib, 66, while lawyer Datuk N.Sivananthan represented Arul Kanda, 43.

On Dec 12, 2018, 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, which was as the Prime Minister, with using the position to obtain gratification for himself, which was to evade disciplinary, civil or criminal action against him in connection with 1MDB, by ordering alterations to the 1MDB final audit report before it was finalised and tabled to the PAC, where he directly had interest in.

The Pekan Member of Parliament was accused of committing the offence at the Complex of the Prime Minister’s Department, Federal Government’s Administrative Centre, the Federal Territory of 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 faced an imprisonment for up to 20 years and fine of not less that five times the amount of the gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if found guilty

Arul Kanda was charged with abetting Najib in making amendments to the report to protect the Pekan MP from being subjected to  disciplinary, civil or criminal action in connection with MDB, at the same place and time.

The charge filed under Section 28(1)(c) of the MACC Act 2009 read together with Section 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 Kanda.