1MDB cases involving Najib postponed until next month for him to attend Parliament session

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 7): All 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)-related trials involving former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak in two different High Courts this month have been postponed until next month as the Pekan Member of Parliament (MP) has written to inform that he has to attend the Parliament session until Dec 17.

As a result, his 1MDB audit tampering trial, scheduled for the whole of this week, has been vacated. In this trial, he is charged with abuse of power along with former 1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy, who is accused of abetting him.

Najib's lawyer Nur Syahirah Hanafiah said they wrote last week to seek the adjournment of the 1MDB audit tampering trial and the 1MDB trial, which was originally scheduled to resume next week.

Case management for the 1MDB audit tampering trial was done before High Court deputy registrar Catherine Nicholas with Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) Ahmad Akram Gharib and Mohammed Mustafa P Kunyalam representing the prosecution.

Nicholas fixed Jan 18 to 21, Feb 22 to 24, March 8 to 11, and April 5 to 8 and 12 to 15 for the trial to be held before Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan.

Meanwhile, High Court senior assistant registrar Farah Azura Mohd Saad fixed additional hearing dates for the 1MDB trial before Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah — after the trial dates next week were vacated due to Najib's request.

The court fixed Jan 4 to 7, 25 and 27, Feb 2-4, 8-11 and 15-18, April 5 to 8, 19-22 and 26-28, May 3 to 6, 17-20 and 24-27, June 1 to 3, 8-10, 21-24 and 28-30, and July 5 to 8 as trial dates.

Najib is charged with abuse of power for allegedly directing the 1MDB audit report prepared by the National Audit Department and requested by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), while Arul Kanda is said to have abetted the former premier.

The former premier is alleged to have committed the crime between Feb 22 and 26, 2016.

As for the 1MDB trial, the Pekan MP and former Umno president is facing four counts of abuse of power for using his position as the then prime minister, finance minister and 1MDB board of advisers chairman to receive gratification worth RM2.28 billion.

He also faces 21 counts of money laundering involving over RM4.3 billion.

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