Shahrir ‘s money-laundering case to be heard in High Court

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The case of former Felda chairperson Shahrir Abdul Samad, who is charged with failing to declare RM1 million which he received from former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), will be heard in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan made the decision after allowing Shahrir’s application to have the case transferred from the Sessions Court to the High Court.

Lawyer Syahrul Syazwan Salehin, representing Shahrir, said the decision was made on the grounds that it would expedite the trial process as there were constitutional issues to be raised by the defence team.

“The court also took judicial notice that Shahrir’s case was similar to lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s case (related to the IRB) which was transferred to the High Court without objection from the deputy public prosecutor,” he said when contacted by reporters after the hearing of the application was conducted via Zoom today.

The proceeding was also attended by lawyers Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, Syed Faisal Al-Edross and Dzulkifli Ahmad, as well as deputy public prosecutors Natrah Fareha Rahmat and Mohd Afif Ali.

The trial was supposed to take place before Sessions Court Judge Azura Alwi on June 29 and 30.

Meanwhile, Syahrul Syazwan said his party would wait for a notice from the High Court on a new date for the trial and case mention.

Shahrir filed an application to transfer his case from the Sessions Court to the High Court on March 23.

On June 20, 2020, Shahrir was charged with money laundering by not stating his real income in the Income Tax Return Form for Assessment Year 2013, which is a violation of Section 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967, on the RM1 million, believed to be from unlawful activities, which he received from Najib through an AmIslamic Bank Bhd cheque dated Nov 27, 2013.

The cheque was then deposited into Shahrir’s Public Islamic Bank account on Nov 28, 2013.

He was charged with committing the offence at IRB, Duta branch, Government Office Complex, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim in Kuala Lumpur on April 25, 2014.

The charge, framed under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, provides a maximum fine of RM5 million, or imprisonment for up to five years, or both, if found guilty.