No Delay: Najib’s Third Trial to Start Next Monday, This Time with Arul Kanda

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The joint trial of Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Arul Kanda Kandasamy will start as scheduled next Monday without any delay, the High Court ruled today.

Former prime minister Najib and 1MDB former CEO Arul Kanda are jointly accused of tampering with the auditor-general’s final report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

High Court judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan disallowed a request made last week to defer this trial – Najib’s third so far.

“I’m disinclined for two reasons. If I were to vacate those dates, I will be very hard-pressed to find alternative dates, very difficult for me,” the judge said.

Zaini acknowledged the prosecution’s previous request for the joint trial of Najib and Arul Kanda to be deferred based on the reason that a key witness in this trial had yet to complete his testimony in a separate ongoing trial against Najib over 1MDB funds.

But Zaini said the prosecution could start by calling other witnesses for this trial first, and that the court could reconsider the matter if it comes to a stage when other witnesses have been exhausted.

“I can assure you I will not be pressing for him to give his evidence until he concludes his evidence in the 1MDB case, that much I’m willing to concede,” the judge added, referring to key witness Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi who was another 1MDB former CEO before Arul Kanda.

The joint Najib-Arul Kanda trial will start at 10am November 18 before Zaini. – MMO