1MDB: Nov 6 for decision on prosecution’s bid to amend three charges against Najib

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here on Thursday (Oct 26) fixed Nov 6 to deliver its decision on the prosecution’s bid to amend three charges involving power abuse and money laundering in Datuk Seri Najib Razak's 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) trial.

Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah set the date after the former premier’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told the judge that the defence team needed more time to prepare submissions against the prosecution’s amendment bid.

"My Lord, we need more time to assemble the factual matrix of the case in relation to the three charges that prosecutors wanted to amend.

"We have noticed that apart from people like former 1MDB chief executive officer Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman, former Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Ambank relationship manager Joanna Yu and Ambank branch manager R Uma Devi, there are few more witnesses that we have to go through to complete the factual matrix," he said.

Meanwhile, deputy public prosecutor Kamal Baharin Omar submitted that the prosecution had no objections to this and added that the prosecution also needed time to prepare their further submissions.

"My Lord, the prosecution’s witness on standby today is Assistant Director of the Anti-Money Laundering Criminal Investigation Division ACP Foo Wei Min. But he is under medical leave as he is ill with gout,” said the prosecutor.

After hearing the matter, Judge Sequerah then vacated today’s proceedings to Nov 6 and said the decision on the prosecution’s bid to amend the three charges would be ruled on the said date.

"On that date, I will deliver my decision for both the amendment to the three charges and admissibility of documentation, then we can proceed with ACP Foo,” the judge said.

The admissibility of documentation issue refers to the defence team’s objections against the prosecutors’ intent to admit several bank documents linked to Foo’s testimony.

Last Tuesday, the prosecution team told the High Court that they wish to amend one of Najib's four power abuse charges and two of his 21 money laundering charges, following the recent testimonies of two witnesses namely Bank Negara Malaysia's analyst Adam Ariff Mohd Roslan and Foo.

For the power abuse charge, the prosecution wanted to amend the amount from RM49.9mil to RM44.6mil, while for the money laundering charges, the prosecution wanted to amend the 10th charge which Najib was accused of committing by transferring money from unlawful activities, by reducing the amount involved from RM652.6mil to RM515.7mil.

Apart from that, the prosecution also wanted to amend the 21st charge involving the transfer of funds, by reducing the amount of RM12.4mil to RM11.4 mil.

The matter, however, was objected to by the defence team.

Najib, 70, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes amounting to RM2.3bil belonging to 1MDB and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount. - Bernama

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court , Najib , 1MDB , vacate , decision , amendment , charge


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