KUALA LUMPUR: Prominent lawyer Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah was charged with two counts of money laundering at the sessions court at Jalan Duta here today.
The charges – relating to a RM9.5 million payment he received from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak – were filed under Section 4 (1) (b) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act (AMLA) 2001.
Shafee 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 year.
The Umno lawyer pleaded not guilty to all four charges.
On the first and second counts, Shafee is alleged to have involved himself in money laundering activities by receiving proceeds of unlawful activities via two cheques belonging to Najib totalling RM4.3 million and RM5.2 million respectively, on Sept 13, 2013 and Feb 17, 2014.
The offences were allegedly committed at the CIMB Bank Bhd in Taman Tunku, Bukit Tunku, here.
On the third and fourth counts, Shafee is alleged to have committed acts contrary to Section 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967 by omitting the income he received on Sept 13, 2013 totalling RM4.3 million, and on Feb 17, 2014 totalling RM5.2 million.
He was accused of committing the offences at Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri, Duta branch, Government Complex at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim here on March 3, 2015 and June 29, 2015.
All four charges were made under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLATFPUAA).
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib offered RM2.5 million bail to be imposed on the accused.
The judge then allowed RM1 million bail with two sureties and ordered that Shafee surrender both his passports to the court until the disposal of the case.
The judge also allowed Shafee's lawyers’ application for half of the bail amount to be paid today and the rest by Sept 18.
Shafee's case will be up for mention on Oct 2.
The lawyer was detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) early this morning.
He arrived at the court here at 11am, escorted by 10 MACC officers.
As he entered the complex, Shafee told reporters that charges brought against him are an act of ‘victimisation.’
Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram led the prosecution team, while Shafee was represented by counsels Harvinderjit Singh, Chetan Jethwani, Datuk Hasnal Rezua Merican, Rahmat Hazlan and Muhammad Farhan Shafee.
It was reported that Shafee received RM9.5 million from Najib to lead the prosecution team in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy II appeal trial in 2015.
An affidavit which names Siti Rahayu Mohd Mumazaini alleges that two cheques were issued by Najib – one on Sept 11, 2013 for RM4.3 million and another on Feb 14, 2014 for RM5.2 million.
Shafee allegedly received RM9.5 million in two tranches of RM4.3 million and RM5.2 million in his bank accounts on Sept 13, 2013 and Feb 17, 2014, respectively.
Rahayu said the information was obtained by the MACC following a probe into Shafee under AMLATFPUAA.