Court defers decision on Najib’s bid to strike out charge


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 08 Aug 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here postponed to next week to deliver its decision on Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s application to strike out the charge of tampering with the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) final audit report.

The former prime minister is facing the charge with former 1MDB chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

High Court deputy registrar Catherine Nicholas said that Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan decided to reserve his judgment to next week.

The trial will resume on Monday.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Mustaffa P. Kunyalam, when met by reporters outside the court, confirmed the matter.

Najib, 67, applied to be acquitted as he claimed that the charge was groundless and oppressive.

On July 23, Justice Mohamed Zaini fixed yesterday to deliver his decision after hearing submissions from Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who is leading the prosecution team.

The Pekan MP is on trial for using his position to order amendments to the 1MDB final audit report that had already been “finalised” by the Auditor-General, before it was “finalised again” and presented to the Public Accounts Committee to prevent any action being taken against him.

Najib allegedly committed the offence at the Prime Minister’s Department Complex, Federal Government’s Administrative Centre, the Federal Territory of Putrajaya, between Feb 22 and 26, 2016.

He faces a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

Meanwhile, Arul Kanda, 44, is 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.

If found guilty, he could face a similar punishment. — Bernama

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