Shafee’s money-laundering trial vacated to make way for Najib’s ongoing trial

KUALA LUMPUR: The trial of Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (pix), who is facing two counts of money laundering charges involving RM9.5 million he allegedly received from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, and two charges of making false statements to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), has been vacated.

Former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who is leading the prosecution team, said Muhammad Shafee’s case has been vacated to make way for Najib’s ongoing corruption trials involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and SRC International Sdn Bhd funds.

“The court fixed April 30 for mention on which we will brief what is happening in the other cases and the court will fix fresh dates,“ he told reporters after the case was mentioned in chambers before High Court Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin here today.

Muhammad Shafee, is the lead counsel for both of Najib’s trials.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz also acted for the prosecution while lawyer Sarah Abishegam and Nur Syahirah Hanapiah represented Muhammad Shafee.

On June 27 2019, High Court has fixed 16 days from March 9 to 13, March 30 to April 2, May 12 to 14 and May 18 to 21 for the trial.

On Sept 13 2018, Muhammad Shafee, 66, pleaded not guilty to receiving proceeds from unlawful activity via cheques issued by Najib, which were remitted into his CIMB Bank Berhad account.

He allegedly received a cheque for RM4.3 million on Sept 13, 2013 and another for RM5.2 million on Feb 17, 2014.

He allegedly committed the two offences at CIMB Bank Bhd, J2 & K1, Taman Tunku, Bukit Tunku, here.

The charges, under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, carry a fine not exceeding RM5 million or up to five years’ jail or both upon conviction.

Muhammad Shafee is also facing two charges of being involved in transactions of proceeds from unlawful activity, that is by making inaccurate statements and in contravention of paragraph 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967 for financial years ending Dec 31, 2013 and Dec 31, 2014.

He allegedly committed the offences at IRB’s Duta branch at Kompleks Pejabat Kerajaan, Jalan Tunku Abdul Halim here on March 3, 2015 and June 29, 2015.

For this, Muhammad Shafee is liable to be jailed a maximum 15 years and fined not less than five times the amount of proceeds from the unlawful activity. — Bernama