KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court will not allow anymore delay on the proceeding for tampering the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) Final Audit Report and the trial will begin next Monday.
Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said that there is no need to delay the trial faced by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and the former Chief Executive Officer of 1MDB, Arul Kanda Kandasamy.
This is also the third trial involving the former Prime Minister after the SRC International Sdn Bhd and the ongoing 1MDB trial which has entered its 35th day.
“It is difficult to get a new date for the trial, we’ll kick-start on Monday at 10.00 am,” said Mohamed Zaini.
Earlier, Senior Deputy Public Prosecutor, Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, made an application to delay the trial as the prosecution witness, former CEO of 1MDB, Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi is testifying for the ongoing 1MDB case.
Sri Ram said that he needed to prepare the opening statement for the case and to monitor the prosecution team.
“Lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah representing Najib said that he may not be able to finish cross-examining Shahrol this 14 November and the trial is expected to start on 18 November.
“This will cause prejudice to the prosecution if Shahrol is still testifying for the 1MDB trial,” Gopal Sri Ram said last week.
The High Court had earlier fixed 18 until 29 November 2019 and 13 until 17 January for the trial.
The Sessions Court allowed the prosecution’s request for Najib and Arul Kanda to be jointly trial last 4 January.
Najib was charged for using his position to order the amendment on the Final 1MDB Audit Report before it was being presented to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to avoid actions against him.
Arul Kanda on the other hand was charged for abetting Najib to tamper the report in order to protect the former Prime Minister from being taken action on.
Both Najib and Arul appeared calm during the management of the case. -MalaysiaGazette