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,Ex-1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy (pic) is charged with abetting Najib Razak in making amendments to the 1MDB final audit report to protect the latter from being subjected to action. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, June 14, 2022.

EX-1MALAYSIA Development Bhd (1MDB) CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy has “happily” agreed to testify against ex-prime minister Najib Razak in the 1MDB audit report tampering trial.

Arul Kanda’s lawyer, N. Sivananthan, told the High Court that his client is prepared to stand by his previous statement given to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) during case investigation.

Arul Kanda “happily agrees” with the request by the prosecution, he added.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan fixed June 24 to deliver his decision after hearing submissions from senior deputy public prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram and Najib’s lead lawyer, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Shafee earlier opposed the request, saying that the prosecution is acting in bad faith and that it can amount to an abuse of process.

He said the prosecution should have made the application at the beginning of the trial in 2019, so as to not allow Arul Kanda to hear evidence from other witnesses.

“The prosecution has no choice now, so it called Arul Kanda to be its witness.

“But Arul Kanda should have not been in court during the trial, he should have been in the witness room.

“The prosecution indicated from the outset of the trial in its opening statement that it intends to call Arul Kanda as a prosecution witness.

“As such, it has always known that the evidence is necessary to support its case against my client.”

Sri Ram countered that Arul Kanda should be called as a prosecution witness as he is privy to relevant conversations between himself and Najib concerning the charges against the latter.

As an abettor, Arul Kanda is a relevant witness as he is in a position to testify to the co-accused’s conduct, he said.

He added that the words spoken by Najib to Arul Kanda will be highly relevant to establish corrupt intention.

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, 45, is charged with abetting the former in making the amendments to protect the former from being subjected to action.

Both are charged under section 23(1) of the MACC Act 2009, which provides for a jail term of up to 20 years and fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction. – Bernama, June 14, 2022.


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