Court dismisses Shafee’s application to expunge tax officer’s witness statement


KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court here today dismissed Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s  (picture) application to expunge over half of the written witness statement of a former Inland Revenue Board (IRB) officer in relation to his money laundering case involving RM9.5 million.

Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin in his judgment said there was no probability that 33 out of 51 paragraphs of the witness statement of Syed Nasrul Fahmi Syed Mohamad, the seventh prosecution witness, prejudiced the accused (Muhammad Shafee).

“In my opinion, the 33 paragraphs in the written statement of the seventh prosecution witness are relevant to prove the third and fourth charges against the accused,” he said.

He said the witness statement could always be challenged by the defence during cross-examination.

The judge said whether or not the witness statement should be accepted and whether or not it could prove the charges against the accused are different issues and are for the court to decide.

“Therefore, the application to expunge the 33 paragraphs in the seventh prosecution witness’ written statement is hereby dismissed,” he said.

On September 13, 2018, Muhammad Shafee pleaded not guilty to two charges of receiving RM9.5 million which were proceeds from unlawful activities through two cheques issued by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak which were deposited into his CIMB Bank Berhad account.

He was also charged with two counts of engaging in transactions resulting from illegal activities, namely submitting incorrect tax returns, which is in violation of paragraph 113 (1) (a) of the Income Tax Act 1967 for the financial years ending December 31, 2013, and December 31, 2014.