The Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today acquitted and discharged Umno legal adviser Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun on money laundering charges, involving RM15 million, which he allegedly received from former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Judge Suzana Hussin made the ruling after deputy public prosecutor Datuk Ishak Mohd Yusoff informed the court that the prosecution was withdrawing all the three money laundering against Mohd Hafarizam, who agreed for the cases to be compounded.
“Based on the application from the deputy public prosecutor and the compound that had been settled in this case, the court acquitted and discharged the accused from all three charges, with the bail money (RM200,000) returned,” said Suzana.
Lawyer Datuk Hasnal Rezua Merican who represented Hafarizam confirmed the matter in court.
He said the compound that was offered to his client had been settled.
“With the compound being paid, there should be no new charges,” he said, asking the court to acquit and discharge his client.
Hafarizam paid the compound amounting to RM590,587.26 yesterday.
The defence team also comprised lawyers Datuk M Reza Hassan, Datuk Abu Bakar Isa Rahmat, Amin Othman and Muzammil Merican while Ishak was assisted by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Ashrof Adrian Kamarul.
In a statement later, Hafarizam said he had been vindicated from the money laundering case, which he described as “selective prosecution”.
“The funds which I am accused of laundering were not meant for my benefit or my former firm, Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak.
“I was only holding the said funds, in a capacity as a stakeholder for the client, and to pay them to third parties based on the client’s instruction.
“Such transactions are normal for all lawyers.”
Hafarizam pointed out that three lawyers were called to testify in Najib’s SRC International trial previously, and they admitted the money was deposited into their firms’ clients’ accounts.
“My charges will also give an implication to other Bar members who have to deal with clients’ money on a daily basis,” he said.
Hafarizam’s trial was initially scheduled to begin on Aug 16.
Besides Hafarizam, Najib’s lead counsel, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, was also slapped with two counts of money laundering for allegedly receiving RM9.5 million from Najib.