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Shafee used RM9.5 million from Najib to buy bungalow in Bukit Tunku, MACC officer tells court

He says the lawyer also told him that the money was not linked to his appointment as DPP in Anwar Ibrahim's second sodomy appeal.

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Lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah with former prime minister Najib Razak in this January file photo. Photo: Bernama
Lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah with former prime minister Najib Razak in this January file photo. Photo: Bernama

The RM9.5 million received by Muhammad Shafee Abdullah from Najib Razak in 2013 and 2014 was used to purchase a bungalow in Bukit Tunku, Kuala Lumpur, a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer told the High Court today.

MACC assistant commissioner Mohd Nasharudin Amir said Shafee admitted this when giving his statement to the anti-graft agency on July 28, 2017.

“Based on his answers when recording the statement, two cheques valued at RM4.3 million and RM5.2 million received from Najib as fees for legal counsel provided to the former prime minister and party were used to purchase a house valued at RM9.5 million,” he said.

Nasharudin, who was then head of the MACC Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds from Illicit Activities Investigations Unit, said Shafee also told him that the RM9.5 million had no links with his appointment as deputy public prosecutor in Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy II appeal case.

Nasharudin said this when reading his witness statement on the third day of Shafee’s trial, in which the senior lawyer is facing money laundering charges involving RM9.5 million allegedly received from Najib and two charges of making false statements to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN).

Nasharudin said Shafee also told him that he had no knowledge of the source of the money he received and that he had never asked Najib where it came from.

As for Shafee’s statement to MACC, Nasharudin said it was recorded at his office, Messrs Shafee & Co, adding that the lawyer was not handcuffed at the time as he was involved in the investigations in which Najib was accused of diverting RM2.6 billion to private accounts.

Cross-examined by lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, Nasharudin said he could not recall if he had requested from Shafee documents pertaining to the purchase of the bungalow when the statement was recorded.

Meanwhile, MACC Headquarters Investigations Unit officer Zulfaqar Mohd Khalil told the court that when recording his statement at the MACC headquarters on Sept 11, 2018, Shafee, when referred to a sales and purchase agreement dated Feb 21, 2014, said the money had been used to purchase land and a three-storey bungalow.

Zulfaqar said Shafee also informed him that he had provided legal services to clients from Barisan Nasional over election petitions from 2004 to 2006, in which 46 files were opened.

“Shafee also explained that he had met Najib on Sept 5, 2013, and stated that the total cost of the legal services provided was about RM12 million. He suggested to Najib that if payment were to be made, the actual amount would be RM11.5 million.

“During the meeting, Shafee confirmed that he had informed Najib that he needed money to buy a house worth RM9.5 million and Najib told him to take RM9.5 million first before issuing two checks worth RM4.3 million and RM5.2 million respectively.

“According to Shafee, Najib agreed that the RM9.5 million would be a loan until Najib came up with a rationalisation (for the payment),” the witness said.

On Sept 13, 2018, Shafee pleaded not guilty to two charges of receiving RM9.5 million in proceeds from unlawful activities through two cheques issued by Najib and deposited into his CIMB Bank account.

He was also charged with two counts of engaging in transactions resulting from illegal activities, namely submitting incorrect tax returns, which is in violation of Paragraph 113 (1) (a) of the Income Tax Act 1967 for the financial years ending Dec 31, 2013, and Dec 31, 2014.

Shafee also faces two charges of being involved in transactions involving proceeds from unlawful activities, namely submitting incorrect returns, which contravenes Paragraph 113 (1) (a) of the Income Tax Act 1967, for the financial years ending Dec 31, 2013 and Dec 31, 2014.

The trial before judge Muhammad Jamil Hussin continues tomorrow.