Najib’s lawyer down with Covid-19, case postponed

KUALA LUMPUR: The hearing for an application by the prosecution to call former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy to testify against Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been rescheduled again to June 14.

The postponement was due to the former prime minister’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah testing positive for Covid-19, rendering him unable to argue his submissions in the application.

One of the lawyer’s in Najib’s defence team, Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed, told the media that the High Court was informed of Muhammad Shafee’s situation.

“He (Muhammad Shafee) got his PCR result on May 31 so the hearing today (yesterday) is vacated,” Wan Aizuddin said outside of the court.

Yesterday was initially fixed for the hearing on the prosecution’s application under Section 63 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act.

Section 63 states that in a situation where two or more people are charged with an offence under this same law, the court may require one or more of them to give evidence as witnesses for the prosecution if a written application is made by the public prosecutor.

Najib’s defence has described the prosecution’s application as “the first in modern times” where a co-accused is sought to become a witness in the prosecution’s case.

Muhammad Shafee would be doing his submissions to object to the application.

On Monday, High Court judge Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan was informed that Muhammad Shafee was down with high fever and sore throat, pushing Monday’s scheduled hearing to yesterday.

Najib, 69, is accused of abusing his position to order amendments to the 1MDB final audit report to avoid action being taken against him while Arul Kanda, 46, is accused of abetting Najib in making the amendments.

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