Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s RM9.5 million money laundering trial this morning has been vacated as he is overseas to meet a prospective Queen’s Counsel (QC) from the United Kingdom (UK).
The lawyer is seeking a QC to represent former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak in his appeal to quash his conviction and sentencing in the RM42 million SRC International corruption case. Shafee is Najib’s defence counsel.
Deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz confirmed the matter.
“Yes, Shafee has gone overseas,” the prosecutor said, adding that it was due to the lawyer (who acts for Najib in the SRC appeal) wishing to meet a prospective QC.
Afzainizam added that the money laundering trial against Shafee is set to resume on March 28 and 29, as well as April 27.
Last year, the High Court hearing Shafee’s money laundering case had allowed his application for the temporary release of his passport so he could fly off to New York to help his son settle in for higher education studies there.
In 2019, Shafee cited the excuse of an injury caused by a playful guard dog for a delay in Najib’s SRC trial before a separate High Court in Kuala Lumpur.
On Sept 13, 2018, at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court, Shafee claimed trial to four charges linked to RM9.5 million allegedly received from former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, via two cheques.
The lawyer was charged with two counts of money laundering over the RM9.5 million, which he was accused of receiving in two tranches, the first RM4.3 million on Sept 13, 2013, and the second payment of RM5.2 million on Feb 17, 2014.
Shafee was also charged with two counts of involvement in transactions of proceeds from unlawful activity, by making inaccurate statements in relation to the payments on March 3 and June 29, 2015.
The 69-year-old lawyer was alleged to have deposited the two cheques into his personal account at a CIMB Bank branch in Bukit Tunku, Kuala Lumpur.
For the first two charges, Shafee was charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act (Amla) 2001.
The other two charges are framed under Section 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967.
The case was later transferred to the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.
Najib is facing numerous separate criminal trials, among them the RM2.28 billion 1MDB corruption case. – Malaysiakini