Shahrir Samad’s money-laundering trial begins

KUALA LUMPUR – The prosecution in the case of Tan Shahrir Ab Samad (picture), who is charged with failing to declare RM1million which he received from Datuk Seri Najib Razak to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), will prove that the former Felda chairman was directly involved in money laundering activities when he obtained the money from the former prime minister.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohd ‘Afif Ali said there was oral testimony from prosecution witnesses to prove that the accused (Shahrir) obtained the money which was deposited into his Public Islamic bank account through a cheque dated Nov 27, 2013.

“There is also testimony that the accused did not report his actual income in the Income Tax Return Form for Assessment Year 2013 and this proves that the accused has directly involved himself in a transaction that involves proceeds of an unlawful activity,” he said while reading the prosecution’s opening statement on the first day of the trial before High Court Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin.

Shahrir was charged with money laundering by not stating his real income in the Income Tax Return Form, which is a violation of Section 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967, on the RM1 million, believed to be from unlawful activities, which he received from Najib. 

The cheque was deposited into Shahrir’s Public Islamic Bank account on Nov 28, 2013.

He was charged with committing the offence at IRB, Duta Branch, Government Office Complex, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim here on April 25, 2014.

The charge, framed under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, provides a maximum fine of RM5mil, or imprisonment for up to five years, or both, if found guilty.

According to Mohd ‘Afif, the prosecution would call all relevant witnesses to prove its case against the accused either through direct or indirect evidence.

Shahrir, clad in a black suit, arrived at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex at about 8.20am.

Deputy public prosecutors Rasyidah Murni Azmi and Natrah Fareha Rahmat also appeared for the prosecution.

At today’s proceedings, Shahrir was represented by lawyers Datuk Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, Datuk Syed Faisal Al-Edros Syed Abdullah Al-Edros, Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad who is also the former chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Syahrul Syazwan Salehin and Shazreen Mohd Hatta.

After reading the opening statement, the prosecution called its first witness, Parliament of Malaysia’s Parliamentary Affairs Division senior assistant administrative officer, Rosli Mat Jinun, 49, to testify. – Bernama