KUALA LUMPUR: The trial of Datuk Seri Najib Razak and former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy involving the alleged tampering of an audit report relating to 1MDB is set to commence in November.
High Court judge Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan has fixed 15 days for the trial after Najib and Arul Kanda maintained their not guilty plea when the charges were read again at the High Court here during case mention on Tuesday (April 16).
The dates have been fixed from Nov 18 to 29, and Jan 13 to 17 next year.
DPP Fatnin Yusof said the prosecution would call about 30 witnesses to testify in the proceedings.
“We will commence a joint trial for both of the accused even though they were separately charged,” she said.
Najib and Arul Kanda were represented by lawyers Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Datuk N. Sivananthan, respectively.
The court fixed Aug 29 for case management.
On Dec 12, 2018, Najib was charged with using his position to order amendments to the 1MDB final 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 1MDB final audit report before it was finalised and tabled to the PAC, where he directly had interest in.
The Pekan MP was accused of committing the offence at the Complex of the Prime Minister's Department, Federal Government's Administrative Centre, Putrajaya between Feb 22 and Feb 26, 2016.
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 1MDB, at the same place and time.