THE prosecution’s appeal against the acquittal of Najib Abdul Razak and former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy in the 1MDB audit tampering case is set for another case management on July 21.
Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Fairuz Johari and Arul Kanda’s lawyer Jasmine Cheong confirmed to Bernama the next case management date.
Cheong said the records of appeal are ready and the prosecution can now file its petition of appeal containing grounds it is appealing against.
A case management was held before Court of Appeal senior assistant registrar Nurul Azrina Mohamed Yusof today who then fixed the next case management date for the prosecution to update the court of the status of its petition of appeal.
Mohd Fairuz, appearing for the prosecution, and Cheong attended the case management. Also present was Najib’s lawyer Alaistar Brandah Norman.
On March 3, this year, High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan (now Court of Appeal judge) acquitted and discharged Najib and Arul Kanda after finding that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against them.
Both were freed of the charges without having their defence called.
In his grounds of judgment, Justice Mohamed Zaini said he had evaluated the prosecution’s case and found no evidence to suggest or prove that Najib explicitly directed the amendments made to exonerate him from any civil or criminal liability.
In Arul Kanda’s case, the judge found that he (Arul Kanda) was consistent throughout his testimony and that his testimonies were compatible with the evidence produced and testimonies of other witnesses.
Najib, 69, who is currently serving a 12-year jail sentence in Kajang prison for misappropriating SRC International Sdn Bhd’s funds, was 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.
Arul Kanda, 46, was charged with abetting the former prime minister in making the amendments to the report, to protect him (Najib) from being subjected to action.
The offence was allegedly committed at the Prime Minister’s Department Complex, Federal Government Administrative Centre, Putrajaya between February 22 and February 26, 2016.
The prosecution filed a notice of appeal at the Court of Appeal on March 9. – Bernama, May 26, 2023.