Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Shafee paid RM1,000 as DPP in Anwar’s sodomy appeal case, court told

The cheque for RM9.5 million from Najib Razak had nothing to do with his appointment, lawyer tells High Court.

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The High Court in Kuala Lumpur was today told that Muhammad Shafee Abdullah only received payment of RM1,000 as deputy public prosecutor in the sodomy appeal case involving Anwar Ibrahim.

This was confirmed by assistant superintendent Zulfaqar Mohd Khalil of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in Putrajaya.

Today is the fourth day of Shafee’s trial, in which the senior lawyer is facing money laundering charges involving RM9.5 million allegedly received from Najib Razak and two charges of making false statements to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN).

When questioned by lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, the fifth prosecution witness said based on a recorded statement by Shafee, the legal fee agreed on between him (Shafee) and the Malaysian government was RM1,000 for the case.

Harvinderjit: According to the agreement dated July 19, 2013, my client was only given RM1,000 to handle Anwar’s appeal case. He also clarified that the cheque for RM9.5 million from Najib had nothing to do with his appointment as the deputy public prosecutor in the sodomy appeal case. Was this recorded during the conversation?

Zulfaqar: Yes.

Harvinderjit: As there were allegations (that the RM9.5 million was legal fees for Anwar’s sodomy case), Shafee had himself brought a media statement and a letter from the Attorney-General’s Chambers to refute the allegations.

Zulfaqar: Yes.

On March 11, 2015, former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri told the Dewan Rakyat that Shafee had received payment of RM1,000 as the deputy public prosecutor in Anwar’s case.

Meanwhile, former Malaysian Bar Council treasurer N Ravindran told the court that since 2010, lawyers have been required to declare the services provided by them during the same year in which the services were rendered even if they did not receive payment from the clients.

“Two circulars, dated Feb 15, 2008 and Sept 3, 2008 were emailed to Shafee. The circulars were about services provided by lawyers for fees to be declared in the year the services are provided, except for pro bono service,” said Ravindran, who is the sixth prosecution witness.

On Sept 13, 2018, Shafee pleaded not guilty to two charges of receiving RM9.5 million which were proceeds from unlawful activities through two cheques issued by Najib which were 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 contravene Paragraph 113 (1) (a) of the Income Tax Act 1967, for the financial years ending Dec 31, 2013 and Dec 31, 2014.

The hearing before judge Muhammad Jamil Hussin continues on Oct 14.

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