Malaysian ex-PM Najib Razak, accused of committing an offence at the Complex of the Prime Minister’s Department, Federal Government’s Administrative Centre, Putrajaya between Feb 22 and Feb 26, 2016 and using his position to order amendments to the 1MDB final audit report, is seeking a last-minute postponement of his third criminal trial.
The trial is scheduled to start next Monday and Najib is scheduled to be tried together with the ex-1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy for allegedly tampering with the sovereign wealth fund’s final audit report.
Najib filed a notice of motion yesterday to have the trial begin on Jan 13, next year.
“My appointed legal representatives and myself require time. The commencement of the PAC case trial in Nov 2019 would deprive me and my legal team the opportunity of adequately and effectively preparing my defence case,” he said in his affidavit.
He believes he would suffer prejudice if the trial was not postponed and said he needs time to prepare his defence for the SRC International Sdn Bhd trial which is due on Dec 3.
The dates have been fixed from Nov 18 to 29, and Jan 13 to 17 next year. Reports say the prosecution is expecting to call about 30 witnesses to testify in the proceedings.
Najib is represented by lawyers Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah who is also representing him in the other two criminal cases.
Last December, Najib was charged with using his position to order amendments to the 1MDB final audit report before it was tabled to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to avoid any action against him.
Arul Kanda, 43, was charged on on Dec 12, last year, at the Sessions Court with committing the offence between Feb 22 and 26, 2016 and he is accused of allegedly abetting Najib, 66, in using the latter’s position as then-Prime Minister to order amendments to the report. -/TISG