1MDB audit report case: Prosecution to hand over about 40 witness statements to defence | New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR: The prosecuton will hand over about 40 witness statements to the defence in the trial of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy for allegedly tampering with the fund’s audit report, the High Court heard today.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohammad Al-Saifi Hashim told judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan that eight statements had been handed over, and all documents would be ready two weeks before the trial commences.

The court has fixed 15 days for the trial, which is expected to start next month.

Witness statement is a signed document recording the evidence of a witness which will be read in the witness stand.

Counsel Rahmat Hazlan and Jasmine Cheong, who represented Najib and Arul Kanda respectively, confirmed they had received the documents.

The court then fixed Nov 7 and Nov 13 for further case management.

On April 16, the same court had fixed Nov 18-29, and Jan 13-17 for the trial after Najib and Arul Kanda maintained their not guilty plea when the charges were re-read to them at the High Court.

On Dec 12, Arul Kanda was charged at the Sessions Court with committing the offence between Feb 22 and 26, 2016.

He allegedly abetted Najib, 66, in using the latter’s position as prime minister to order an amendment to the report.

The offence was allegedly committed at Kompleks Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Putrajaya.

If convicted under Section 24 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, Arul Kanda faces a maximum 20-year jail term, and a fine no less than five times the graft involved or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

He was released on RM500,000 bail.

On Nov 25, Auditor-General Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad said Najib had instructed amendments to be made to the 1MDB final audit report, with the exclusion of several paragraphs in the report.

Among the information allegedly excluded from the report is the presence of fugitive entrepreneur Low Taek Jho or Jho Low in a 1MDB board meeting.

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