Day 8 Arul Kanda S Defence Opts Not To Cross Examine Prosecution Witnesses




The criminal trial of ex-premier Najib Abdul Razak and former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy involving the alleged tampering with 1MDB's final audit report enters its eighth day today at the Kuala Lumpur High Court
Malaysiakini brings you live reports of the proceedings
Summary of Najib and Arul's caseNajib is facing a charge of tampering with 1Malaysia Development Bhd's (1MDB) final audit report. He is being tried together with 1MDB former chief executive officer (CEO) Arul Kanda Kandasamy who is accused of abettment
Najib is facing one corruption chargeArul is accused of abetting Najib in the officeClick to view information on judge, prosecution and defence teamsKEY HIGHLIGHTSArul Kanda's defence opts not to cross-examine prosecution witnesses'Our leadership' refers to Najib - witness1MDB audit report only altered due to meeting on Feb 24, 2016Ambrin, Saadatul defended original 1MDB audit reportCourt completes playback of audit report meeting's audio recordingThank you for following Malaysiakini's live report4pm - Thank you for following our live report today
Arul Kanda's defence opts not to cross-examine prosecution witnesses3.40 pm - Former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy's defence team will not be cross-examining any further prosecution witnesses in order not to compromise their client's position as a prosecution witness in the audit tampering trial
The Kuala Lumpur High Court is informed of this by Arul Kanda's (below) lead defence counsel N Sivananthan at the end of proceedings this afternoon
"As they (the prosecution through their opening statement earlier during trial) will be calling our client (a witness), we reserve the cross-examination of all (prosecution) witnesses so as not to compromise his position as a witness
"However, if he (Arul Kanda) is not called as a witness (even towards the end of the prosecution's stage of the trial), then we reserve the right to apply to recall (any prosecution witness) and cross-examine them
"As it stands, we reserve the cross-examination on all witnesses," Sivananthan says
Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan replies that the court will cross the bridge when the trial gets there
The judge also adjourns trial to 2pm tomorrow afternoon because lead DPP Gopal Sri Ram has concluded his examination-in-chief of the seventh witness, retired National Audit Department (NAD) officer Saadatul Nafisah Bashir Ahmad
Tomorrow's proceedings will see Najib's defence team given the option to cross-examine any of the witnesses that have testified in the course of trial so far
These include Saadatul Nafisah, former auditor-general Ambrin Buang, former chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa, and former NAD officer Nor Salwani Muhammad
The prosecution also has one or two new witnesses on standby for tomorrow's proceedings
'Our leadership' refers to Najib - witness3.35pm - "Our leadership" refers to then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, a former National Audit Department officer testifies
Seventh prosecution witness Saadatul Nafisah Bashir Ahmad tells DPP Gopal Sri Ram during examination-in-chief that this was what then chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa meant during a crucial meeting on Feb 24, 2016
According to the two hours and 45-minute audio recording of the meeting, Ali is overheard saying "to take care of our leadership" in reference to the amendments to the 1MDB audit report
Sri Ram: "To take care of our leadership", what did he (Ali) mean
Saadatul Nafisah: Our (then) prime minister (Najib)
Sri Ram: Who was on the 1MDB board of advisors at the time
Saadatul Nafisah: The finance minister, who was Najib at the time
1MDB audit report only altered due to meeting on Feb 24, 20163.28pm - Retired National Audit Department (NAD) officer Saadatul Nafisah Bashir Ahmad testifies that if it was not for the Feb 24, 2016 meeting, then the original 1MDB audit report would not have been changed
The seventh prosecution witness says this during examination-in-chief by DPP Gopal Sri Ram
Sri Ram: If this meeting had not been held, the exhibit (the altered1MDB final audit report) would not have come into existence
Saadatul Nafisah: No, it would not have come into existence
Ambrin, Saadatul defended original 1MDB audit report3.24pm - Retired National Audit Department (NAD) officer Saadatul Nafisah Bashir Ahmad testifies that she and then auditor-general Ambrin Buang defended the findings of the original 1MDB audit report during a key meeting on Feb 24, 2016
During examination-in-chief by lead DPP Gopal Sri Ram, seventh prosecution witness Saadatul Nafisah says this is done against the disagreement expressed by those attending the meeting at the office of then chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa
Among those who attended the meeting were former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy, then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak's principal private secretary Shukry Mohd Salleh, Ali, and then Attorney-General's Chambers officer Dzulkilfi Ahmad
Sri Ram is asking Saadatul Nafisah (photo) about the meeting where Shukry voiced out disagreements with the NAD's findings
Saadatul Nafisah: What I understood at the time was that he (Shukry) was talking about the contradictions in our findings. The group disagreed with our opinion
Sri Ram: The group disagreed with your report
Saadatul Nafisah: They disagreed with our opinion, the auditor-general's (Ambrin) opinion. It was our opinion, can agree with it or disagree. But as auditors, we need to give our opinion
When Sri Ram asks for clarification, Saadatul Nafisah says: "Both of us were defending what we produced in the report."The Feb 24, 2016, meeting led to a decision to drop several controversial issues from 1MDB's final audit report
Court completes playback of audit report meeting's audio recording3.18pm - The court finishes playback of the Feb 24, 2016 meeting's audio recording
2.08pm - The High Court resumes playback of the two hours and 45-minute audio recording of the key meeting on Feb 24, 2016
At this meeting, it was alleged that A decision was made to drop several controversial issues from the 1MDB final audit report
2.05pm - Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak and ex-1MDB CEO K Arul Kanda Kandasamy enter the dock as proceedings begin
The court is also informed that Najib's lead defence counsel, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, is unable to attend proceedings this afternoon
Najib's co-counsel Rahmat Hazlan informs judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan that Shafee is feeling unwell and has taken a flu jab earlier this morning
Rahmat adds that Shafee will be attending proceedings tomorrow
Also seen in court are Arul Kanda's lead defence counsel N Sivananthan and lead DPP Gopal Sri Ram
2.04pm - Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak enters the Kuala Lumpur High Court and takes a seat at the front row of the public gallery to wait for proceedings to begin
Also seen in court is co-accused, former 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy
The eighth day of former premier Najib Abdul Razak and ex-1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy’s 1MDB audit tampering trial will resume before the Kuala Lumpur High Court at 2pm this afternoon rather than the usual 9am
Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan set the hearing to start at 2pm for today until Thursday
Among the reasons is because Najib’s defence team, led by veteran lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, has separate back-to-back court cases that they need to attend to
This afternoon’s proceedings will see the prosecution continue its examination-in-chief of the seventh prosecution witness, retired National Audit Department (NAD) officer Saadatul Nafisah Bashir Ahmad
Alongside then auditor-general Ambrin Buang, she was among the attendees of a crucial Feb 24, 2016, meeting at the office of then chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa
It was alleged that this meeting - also attended by Ali, Arul Kanda, Najib’s then principal private secretary Shukry Mohd Salleh, and then Finance Ministry deputy secretary-general Mohamad Isa Hussain among others - led to a decision to drop several controversial issues from 1MDB's final audit report
This afternoon, the court is also expected to resume playback of the two hours and 45 minutes audio recording of the meeting, with Saadatul Nafisah listening and helping the prosecution identify certain unclear parts of the transcript of the recording, among others
Yesterday, the court heard among others that Ali - as heard in the audio recording and confirmed by Saadatul Nafisah - described part of the initial audit report on 1MDB as “dangerous material evidence”. - Mkini

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