Shafee unwell, cross-examination of Arul Kanda put off to Aug 12

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has postponed to Aug 12 the cross-examination of former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy (pic) in the 1MDB audit tampering trial as Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s lead counsel is unwell.

Another lawyer for Najib, Rahmat Hazlan said when contacted that Monday's (July 4) proceeding had been vacated because Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had developed laryngitis, which caused him to lose his voice.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Mustaffa P. Kunyalam confirmed the matter and said the trial will resume on Aug 12 before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan.

Arul Kanda, 45, who was charged together with Najib in the 1MDB audit tampering trial, was initially scheduled to be cross-examined on Monday.

On June 24, Justice Mohamed Zaini allowed the prosecution's application to call Arul Kanda as a witness in the trial under Section 63 of the Malaysian-Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009.

Najib, 68, is charged with using his position to order amendments to the 1MDB final audit report before it was presented to the Public Accounts Committee to avoid any action being taken against him, while Arul Kanda is charged with abetting Najib in making the amendments to the report to protect Najib from being subjected to action.

The offence was allegedly committed at the Prime Minister's Department Complex in the Federal Government Administrative Centre, Putrajaya between Feb 22 and 26, 2016.

Both of them were charged under Section 23 (1) of the MACC Act 2009, which provides for 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. – Bernama

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