Witness: Najib not questioned on reason for giving cheques worth RM9.5 mln to Shafee

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Shafee speaks to reporters in Putrajaya on May 7, 2019. – Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR (April 27): A Malaysian Anti -Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer told the High Court here today that he did not question Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak the reason the latter gave two cheques, worth RM9.5 million, to Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s lawyer in 2013 and 2014.

Mohamad Farid Jabar, 37, said he also did not meet with the former Prime Minister to confirm the matter.

The cheques, each for RM4.3 million and RM5.2 million and dated Sept 3, 2013 and Feb 17, 2014, respectively, were issued by Najib himself under Muhammad Shafee’s name.

The eighth prosecution witness said this when questioned by lawyer Harvinderjit Singh, representing Muhammad Shafee, 70, at the trial of the veteran lawyer who allegedly received RM9.5 million in proceeds from unlawful activities from Najib and two charges of making false statements to the Inland Revenue Board IRB).

Questioned by deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Afzainizam Abdul Aziz whether there was any invoice regarding the payment of the RM9.5 million, Mohamad Farid replied “None”.

In the last proceedings, the witness told the court that the RM9.5 million was payment for legal advice given by the veteran lawyer to Najib, UMNO and as then prime minister from 2004 and 2006, including for filing of election petitions.

At today’s proceedings, Mohamad Farid said he had never asked or issued a notice to Messrs. Shafee & Co to submit an invoice regarding the payment of the RM9.5 million.

Mohamad Farid, who is the last prosecution, also admitted that he did not conduct any investigation on the files at the legal firm nor take any evidence from Muhammad Shafee’s clients.

To a question by Harvinderjit Singh whether he was told that the cheques were issued by Najib to Muhammad Shafee because the latter (Muhammad Shafee) acted as the DPP in the sodomy appeal case involving Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the witness replied “No”.

On March 11, 2015, former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri told the Dewan Rakyat that Muhammad Shafee received a payment of RM1,000 as DPP in Anwar’s case.

On Sept 13, 2018, Muhammad 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 Berhad account.

The lawyer 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.

The trial before Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin continues on May 12. – Bernama