Muhammad Shafee’s money-laundering trial begins today

pic by BERNAMA

AFTER almost three years, the trial of prominent lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (picture), who is facing two counts of money-laundering charges involving RM9.5 million he allegedly received from former Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak and two charges of making false statements to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), will commence today at the Kuala Lumpur (KL) High Court.

Previously, Muhammad Shafee’s trial dates had been vacated to make way for Najib’s ongoing trials. Muhammad Shafee is the lead counsel for the former PM’s criminal cases.

The trial before Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin is scheduled to begin at 9am.

The case will be conducted by Deputy Public Prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz, while lawyer Harvinderjit Singh will appear for Muhammad Shafee.

On Sept 13, 2018, Muhammad Shafee, 69, pleaded not guilty to receiving proceeds from unlawful activity via cheques issued by Najib, which were remitted into Muhammad Shafee’s CIMB Bank Bhd account.

He allegedly received a cheque for RM4.3 million on Sept 13, 2013, and another for RM5.2 million on Feb 17, 2014.

Muhammad Shafee allegedly committed the two offences at CIMB Bank Bhd, J2 & K1, Taman Tunku, Bukit Tunku in KL.

The charges, under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, carry a fine not exceeding RM5 million or up to five years’ jail or both upon conviction.

Muhammad Shafee is also facing two charges of being involved in transactions of proceeds from unlawful activity, that is by making inaccurate statements and in contravention of paragraph 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967 for financial years ended Dec 31, 2013, and Dec 31, 2014.

He allegedly committed the offences at IRB’s Duta branch at Kompleks Pejabat Kerajaan, Jalan Tunku Abdul Halim, in KL on March 3, 2015, and June 29, 2015.

For this, Muhammad Shafee could be jailed a maximum 15 years and fined not less than five times the amount of proceeds from the unlawful activity, if convicted.