KUALA LUMPUR: The trial of prominent lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who is facing two counts of money laundering charges involving RM9.5 million he allegedly received from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, and two charges of making false statements to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), has been moved to March next year.
High Court Judge, Collin Lawrence Sequerah fixed the date after counsel, Farhan Read, representing Muhammad Shafee, had requested the earlier fixed trial dates on July 8 to 11 and July 15 to 18 to be vacated to give way for Najib’s on-going SRC trial to be completed first.
Farhan informed that court that the SRC trial, in which Muhammad Shafee is defence lead counsel, will continue on July 1 and the dates fixed for July clashed with Muhammad Shafee’s own trial dates.
“The SRC trial at the moment is prioritised, and we ask for the dates in July to be vacated,” he said.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz acted for the prosecution.
Justice Sequerah 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 and also set August 30, 2019 for case management.
On Sept 13 last year, Muhammad Shafee, 66, pleaded not guilty to receiving proceeds from unlawful activity via cheques issued by Najib, which were remitted into Shafee’s 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