Najib files motion to seek postponement of trial over 1MDB audit report tampering

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak is seeking for the case to begin on Jan 13 instead of next Monday.
Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak is seeking for the case to begin on Jan 13 instead of next Monday.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR - Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has asked the High Court to postpone his trial for allegedly tampering with the audit report of sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The case is scheduled to begin next Monday (Nov 18) and last until Nov 29.

Najib is seeking for the case to begin on Jan 13 instead and has named the public prosecutor and former 1MDB chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy as respondents, reported Free Malaysia Today.

Najib, 66, has a total of five court cases, including one involving former 1MDB unit SRC International and four others related directly to 1MDB, spanning 42 criminal charges for corruption and money laundering.

He says that the trial in the audit report tampering case must be adjourned because it would seriously prejudice him and his lawyers to prepare the defence in the SRC International trial, which is scheduled to last from Dec 3 to Dec 19.

He says he has until Dec 2 to prepare the defence for the SRC case and that his lawyers were also involved in the 1MDB corruption trial involving RM2.28 billion (S$750 million).

"The commencement of the 1MDB audit report (case) in November would deprive me and my legal representative the opportunity of adequately and effectively preparing for the defence case," he said in his affidavit on Wednesday, reported the Free Malaysia Today website.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib said he had received the unsealed copy of the motion and Najib's supporting affidavit. The court had not fixed a date to hear the motion, he added.

For his first trial involving SRC International, the High Court on Monday ordered Najib to enter his defence on Dec 3 on seven charges involving the alleged misappropriation of RM42 million from the former 1MDB subsidiary.