Grilling of Arul Kanda postponed as Shafee is not well

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

Another lawyer for Najib, Rahmat Hazlan, when contacted said yesterday’s proceeding has been vacated because Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah has developed laryngitis, which made him lose his voice.

According to Bernama, deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Mustaffa P. Kunyalam confirmed the matter and said the trial would resume on Aug 12 before judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan.

The cross-examination of Arul Kanda, 45, who was charged together with Najib in the 1MDB audit tampering trial, was scheduled for yesterday.

On June 24, judge 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.

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, Federal Government Administrative Centre, Federal Territory of 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.

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