Crime & Courts

Spotlight on Shafee's case verdict today

KUALA LUMPUR: All eyes will be on Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah today as the High Court will deliver its verdict on his money laundering and tax evasion trial.

Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin is scheduled to deliver his judgement whether to order Shafee to enter his defence or walk free of two counts of money-laundering relating to a RM9.5 million payment he received from former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The senior lawyer was also charged under the Income Tax Act with two counts of making false declarations to the Inland Revenue Board for not including the RM9.5 million in his tax filing, for the years 2013 and 2014.

If Shafee is ordered to enter his defence, he will have to answer the charges against him.

He will have three options to make his defence. They are by sworn evidence from the witness box, where he will be subjected to cross-examination by the prosecution; through an unsworn statement from the dock or to remain silent.

Earlier, Shafee, clad in a dark suit, arrived at the court complex here about 9am.

The senior lawyer smiled to the press who waited for him at the court lobby before he proceeded to the courtroom.

The security was tight with several policemen stationed around the complex.

Space to cover the case is at a premium as media personnel had to obtain special passes to access the courtroom.

Those unable to enter the courtroom can view the proceedings via a live video feed.

Deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz prosecuted the case while Shafee was represented by counsels Harvinderjit Singh, Farhan Read and his son Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee.

A total of eight witnesses were called to testify including AmBank Jalan Raja Chulan branch manager R Uma Devi, CIMB Bank Bukit Tunku branch manager Rosnita Ahmad, former IRB officer Syed Nasrul Fahmi Syed Mohamad, and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Mohamad Farid Jabar.

Shafee claimed trial to all charges when he was brought to court on Sept 13, 2018.

He was released on a RM1 million bail and his passport was also impounded.

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