Arul Kanda next to be charged


PUTRAJAYA: Former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) group president and chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy will be hauled to court tomorrow to face charges over the tampering of the company’s final audit report.

Arul Kanda, who helmed the scandal-ridden company from January 2015 to June this year, will be charged at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court with abetting Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in committing the offence.

Najib will also be in court to face the charge of abusing his position as then prime minister to order the (then) auditor-gene­ral to remove certain parts from the 1MDB final report.

Sources in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) confirmed that the two would be in court to face one charge each.

“Najib was said to have asked the auditor-general to remove certain things from the final audit report. This is tantamount to abuse of power,” said a source.

Najib is facing close to 40 char­ges involving corruption, criminal breach of trust and money laundering – all involving 1MDB.

Yesterday, he met investigators once again to explain about the case and was arrested at around 11am. He was released at 1pm on bail.

Today, Arul Kanda will be returning to MACC headquarters so that investigators can record his statement for the final time before being charged in court.

He has been asked to present himself at 10am.

On Nov 25, Auditor-General Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad had said that one of the changes made to the 1MDB final audit report was the removal of a paragraph or paragraphs mentioning the presence of fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low.

She revealed that the directive to make the changes had come from Tan Sri Shukry Salleh, who had served as the principle private secretary to Najib when he was prime minister.

The changes were made on Feb 26, 2016, on grounds that it was a sensitive issue and to prevent this from being manipulated by then political opposition.

Madinah said the original 1MDB final audit report without the amendments and removal of paragraphs was handed over to the MACC and police for their action.

Besides Najib and Arul Kanda, MACC also called top officials mentioned by Madinah – former chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, her predecessor Tan Sri Ambrin Buang and ex-MACC chief Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad, who had attended one of the meetings as a legal officer with the Attorney Gene­ral’s Chambers.


   

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