Thursday, January 20, 2022

Shafee’s money laundering trial to begin after long delay

The senior lawyer pleaded not guilty to the charges in September 2018 but his trial dates were vacated to make way for the trials of former PM Najib Razak.

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After almost three years, the trial of senior lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who is facing two counts of money laundering charges involving RM9.5 million allegedly received from former prime minister Najib Razak and two charges of making false statements to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN), will commence tomorrow at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

Shafee’s trial dates were previously vacated to make way for Najib’s ongoing trials. Shafee is the lead counsel for the former prime minister’s criminal cases.

The trial before judge Muhammad Jamil Hussin is scheduled to begin at 9am.

The case will be conducted by deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz while lawyer Harvinderjit Singh will appear for Shafee.

On Sept 13, 2018, Shafee, 69, pleaded not guilty to receiving proceeds from unlawful activity via cheques issued by Najib, which were remitted into Shafee’s CIMB Bank Bhd account.

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

Shafee was said to have committed the two offences at CIMB Bank Bhd, J2 & K1, Taman Tunku, Bukit Tunku.

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, up to five years’ jail, or both upon conviction.

Shafee also faces two charges of involvement in transactions of proceeds from unlawful activities, by making inaccurate statements and in contravention of paragraph 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967 for the financial years ending Dec 31, 2013 and Dec 31, 2014.

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

For this, 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, if convicted.

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