1MDB audit report: Bid to transfer Najib's case to be heard on March 14


Modified 8 Mar 2019, 6:27 am

The prosecution’s application to transfer the case involving former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak for alleged tampering of the final 1MDB audit report will be heard at the High Court on March 14.

Deputy public prosecutor Rozaliana Zakaria told reporters that the date was fixed by deputy registrar Mahyuddin Mohmad Som in chambers when the case came up for management today.

It was also attended by lawyer Syahirah Hanapiah, representing Najib, who is also Pekan MP.

"The application will be heard before judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali at 9am,” she said, adding that there was no objection by the respondent.

Rozaliana said the prosecution filed the application to transfer the case from the Sessions Court to the High Court on Feb 28 under Section 417 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The application only involved Najib, with Rozaliana adding that the prosecution had not received any instruction to transfer the case facing former 1MDB chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy, who was charged with abetting Najib in the act, to the High Court.

On Dec 12, 2018, Najib pleaded not guilty to using his position to order amendments to the final 1MDB audit report before it was tabled to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) 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 final 1MDB audit report before it was finalised and tabled to the PAC, where he directly had an interest in.

The Pekan MP was accused of committing the offence at the Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya between Feb 22 and Feb 26, 2016.

He was charged under Section 23(1) of the MACC Act 2009 and faces imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of not less than 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 latter from being subjected to disciplinary, civil or criminal action in connection with 1MDB, 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) & 24 (1) of the same law carries a similar sentence, upon conviction.

On Jan 4, Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi allowed the prosecution's application to have a joint trial for Najib and Arul Kanda.

- Bernama

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