UMNO legal adviser Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun (picture) was charged in the Sessions Court here today to two counts of money laundering, involving RM15 million, which he allegedly received from former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and deposited into the account of his legal firm.
Mohd Hafarizam, 47, however, pleaded not guilty to both the charges. which were read out separately before judge Azman Ahmad.
On the first count, Mohd Hafarizam was alleged to have been directly involved in two transactions involving proceeds from unlawful activities, totalling RM11,500,000.00 in two AmIslamic Bank Berhad cheques belonging to Najib, which were deposited into the client account of Messrs. Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak (HWAM) at CIMB Bank Berhad.
The offence was allegedly committed at PWTC branch of CIMB Bank at, Suite 1, Level 5, Menara Dato’ Onn, Jalan Tun Ismail, here between April 16, 2014 and Nov 4, 2014.
Mohd Hafarizam was also charged with committing a similar offence, involving RM3,500,00.00 through a AmIslamic Bank Berhad cheque belonging to Najib, which was deposited into the client account of the same legal firm at CIMB Bank Berhad at the same place on Feb 12, 2015.
Both the charges were framed under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, which provides an imprisonment for up to 15 years and fine of not less than five times the amount of the proceeds from unlawful activities or RM5 million, whichever is higher, if found guilty.
The prosecution, conducted by deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Mustafa P. Kunyalam, proposed Mohd Hafarizam to be allowed bail of RM500,000 in one surety and to surrender his passport to the court.
Counsel Datuk Hasnal Rezua Merican, representing Mohd Hafarizam, did not object to it.
Following which, Azman set bail at RM500,000 and ordered Mohd Hafarizam to surrender his passport to the court.
Azman also set March 25 for mention.
During the same proceeding, deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib informed the court that a case involving a British, Paul Stadlen, who is Najib’s former media adviser, had been filed in absentia at the court and a warrant of arrest had been issued against the man.
“If the man is found and charged physically in court, application will be made for the case and that of Mohd Hafarizam’s to be tried together.
“Efforts are being made to track down Stadlen and a mention date is requested,” said Ahmad Akram.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Akram, when met by reporters outside the court, said the arrest warrant for Stadlen would be handed over to Interpol.
Stadlen was said to have left Malaysia following Najib’s defeat in the last general election.