Shafee admitted receiving RM9.5m from Najib

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A journalist today told the High Court that Muhammad Shafee admitted receiving RM9.5 million from Najib Razak, saying this was mentioned in a press statement sent to her by the accused’s son.

A Malay Mail senior correspondent today testified that she wrote four online articles in relation to the RM9.5 million that lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah allegedly received from former premier Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

Ida Lim Lee Ting confirmed this during the trial of Shafee’s RM9.5 million money laundering and false statement case before the Kuala Lumpur High Court this morning.

Shafee is on trial on two counts of money laundering and two counts of giving false statements to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) in relation to the RM9.5 million he received from Najib.

Testifying during today’s examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Natasha Chin Le Jy, Lim confirmed she wrote the four articles for online news portal Malay Mail on Sept 8, 2018.

The four articles were ‘Shafee breaks silence, claims Dr M wanted him to prosecute Anwar’s Sodomy II appeals; ‘Shafee: RM9.5m payment was for BN’s election petitions, not Anwar prosecution; ‘After account frozen, Shafee says explained RM9.5m issue to MACC again; and ‘Shafee claims harassment, fears victimisation to discourage his defence of Najib’.

The journalist confirmed the articles were written based on a press statement issued by Shafee entitled ‘Press Statement of Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah Pertaining to the RM9.5 million’.

Lim, who has been with the Malay Mail news portal since 2013, said she received the statement from lawyer Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee on Sept 8, 2018.

“I received it in a PDF format via the WhatsApp application from Farhan.

“I then forwarded the statement to my editor as I know Farhan is a credible source,” she said.

The senior lawyer also alleged in his statement that he was being “harassed” over the sums of money and that he had explained the matter several times to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MAAC) over the payments.

Saifullizan Tamadi/NST

In this case, Muhammad Shafee was charged with two counts of allegedly receiving proceeds from unlawful activities via cheques issued by Najib, which were remitted into his CIMB Bank Berhad account.

He allegedly received a cheque for RM4.3 million on September 13, 2013, and another for RM5.2 million on February 17, 2014. Both the offences were allegedly committed at the CIMB Bank branch in Taman Tunku, Bukit Tunku, Kuala Lumpur.

Muhammad Shafee is also facing two charges of being involved in transactions of proceeds from unlawful activities, namely, by making inaccurate statements and in contravention of paragraph 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967 for financial years ending December 31, 2013, and December 31, 2014.

During cross-examination by defence counsel Harvinderjit Singh, the witness agreed that the four articles made no reference to any tax issues.

Harvinderjit: Your articles have nothing to do with tax?

Lim: No.

The trial in front of Court Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin will continue on June 4.