MACC: Najib’s ex-PR man to surrender RM7.1m linked to 1MDB as settlement

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The anti-graft watchdog said this followed on the heels of a settlement reached involving not just Stadlen but also Umno’s legal adviser Mohd Hafarizam Harun.

Earlier this morning at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court, Hafarizam was acquitted and discharged from an RM15 million money laundering case, following on the heels of the lawyer having paid RM590,587.26 compound to the MACC yesterday.

“Paul Geofrrey Stadlen has agreed to voluntarily release the whole amount of RM7,192,873.84, and the whole amount of the money will be transferred to the trust account of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

“The matter was decided after having taken into account that the amount is appropriate to be forfeited. Therefore, the case against him has been withdrawn,” the graft buster said in a media statement today.

In November 2018, it was reported that Stadlen was sought by the MACC to facilitate investigations into the 1MDB scandal and that he had left Malaysia before the May 9 general election.

Stadlen’s legal team previously claimed that he was “caught in a political backlash against Najib” after the prosecution registered a case and obtained an arrest warrant for the PR man over alleged money laundering involving RM15 million.

Stadlen was the former prime ministers’ media adviser when the latter was prime minister. The PR man was charged in absentia (without him being present) at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court on Feb 20, 2019.

In relation to the compound levied against Hafarizam, the anti-graft watchdog said the Attorney-General’s Chambers has taken into account and considered the reasonable explanations, which included the retraction of the case against Stadlen. – Malaysiakini