by BERNAMA / pic by BERNAMA
The High Court here today discharged not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) UMNO legal adviser Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun (picture) on two counts of money laundering involving RM15 million.
Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali made the decision after deputy public prosecutor Datuk Ishak Mohd Yusoff informed the court that the prosecution was seeking to DNAA the accused from all the charges and file fresh new charges against Mohd Hafarizam in the Sessions Court.
“After hearing the oral application by the prosecution to withdraw the charges against the accused in this case, this court orders the accused to be discharged not amounting to an acquittal in respect of the two charges currently before this court.
“This is to enable the prosecution to file fresh new charges against the accused in the Sessions Court as mentioned by the prosecution. The application for my recusal is therefore recorded as being withdrawn by the defence,” the judge said.
Earlier, Ishak informed the court that the first charge was defective because it involved two transactions in April and November 2014.
“We have to split up the two transactions into new charges. So, we are seeking for the accused to be DNAA for both charges and he will be charged immediately at the lower court today with different charges,” he added.
Mohd Hafarizam’s counsel, Datuk Hasnal Rezua Merican said in the light of the new development by the prosecution, the defence would withdraw their application for recusal of the judge that was made earlier, as it had become academic.
Today, was supposed to be the first day hearing of the case before Justice Mohd Nazlan.
On Feb 21 last year, Mohd Hafarizam, 48, pleaded not guilty 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.
On the first count, he 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 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 RM3.5 million through a AmIslamic Bank Berhad cheque belonging to Najib, which was deposited into the 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.