by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA
The High Court here today allowed the application of defendant Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun (picture), Umno’s legal adviser, to have his RM15 million money laundering case to be transferred from the Sessions Court to this court.
Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah made the decision after hearing submissions from both parties today, with the defence making the application under Section 417 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The date for the trial has yet to be fixed.
Previously, the trial had been set to be heard at the Sessions Court from where the case originated.
Lawyer Datuk Hasnal Rezua Merican, represented Mohd Hafarizam, 47, who has previously defended former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in his civil cases.
Earlier Hasnal Rezua told the court that the defence wanted the case to be heard in the higher court as the Sessions Court judge might not give his client a fair hearing.
“He might feel compelled to concur with and to uphold the findings of the higher court even though he is not bound by them,” he said, adding that the High Court had the power to transfer the case from the Sessions Court based on the elements of the case.
Hasnal Rezua was referring to the case of the former prime minister whose cases originated from the Sessions Court but were later transferred to the High Court for trial.
Deputy public prosecutor Ashrof Adrin Kamarul did not object to the application of the defence.
On Feb 21 this year, Mohd Hafarizam pleaded not guilty to two money laundering charges, involving RM15 million in cheques received from Najib, and which were deposited into his law firm’s bank account.
On the first count, he was alleged to have deposited two cheques for a total of RM11.5 million into the bank account of his legal firm, Messrs Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak, on April 16 and Nov 4, 2014.
Mohd Hafarizam was also charged with committing a similar offence, by depositing a cheque for RM3.5 million into the same account on Feb 12, 2015.
Both the offences were allegedly committed at the CIMB branch at the Putra World Trade Centre here.