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Former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) chief executive Arul Kanda Kandasamy's lawyers will not bother cross-examining any witness called to testify in the sovereign wealth fund audit tampering trial. - NSTP/MOHAMAD SHAHRIL BADRI SAALI

KUALA LUMPUR: Former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) chief executive Arul Kanda Kandasamy's lawyers will not bother cross-examining any witness called to testify in the sovereign wealth fund audit tampering trial.

His lawyer Datuk N Sivananthan informed High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan that Arul Kanda was very likely to end up as a prosecution witness and therefore he did not want to compromise on his client's position.

Sivananthan said the prosecution had right from the onset of the trial made it clear that Arul Kanda will be called as a witness.

"I am therefore not going to cross-examine any witness at this stage.

"However, if my client is not called as a prosecution witness then we reserve the right to recall the witnesses to be cross- examined," he said.

Sivananthan, who is leading Arul Kanda's defence team along with Jasmine Cheong and Dhanyaa Shreeya Sukumar, said this immediately after lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram finished his examination-in-chief of seventh prosecution witness, retired National Audit Department dirrector Saadatul Nafisah Bashir Ahmad.

Earlier, the 65-year old was asked to listen to an audio recording of a meeting which took place at former chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa's office on Feb 24, 2016.

It was at this meeting discussions and instructions to modify the 1MDB audit report were held before the final audit report was prepared and presented to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

In one part of the meeting Ali can be heard saying "we must take care of our leadership".

Asked what he meant by that, Saadatul, who was present in the meeting, said Ali was talking about the then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

She also testified that if not for the Feb 24 meeting, the original 1MDB audit report would not have been altered.

Among those who attended the meeting were Ali, former Auditor General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, former principal chief secretary to Najib, Tan Sri Shukry Mohd Salleh, then Attorney General's Chambers officer Tan Sri Dzulkifly Ahmad and also Arul Kanda.

Najib is accused of tampering with the 1MDB audit report while Arul Kanda is accused of abetting him in doing so.

The trial continues.

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