Shafee did not show proof that RM9.5 mil was for legal services, court told

(FMT) – Lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah did not produce any document to a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer as proof that he received RM9.5 million from Najib Razak for legal services rendered, the High Court heard today.

Assistant Commissioner Mohd Nasharudin Amir said Shafee also told him that he did not know the source of funds for the RM9.5 million and had not asked Najib about it.

The witness said he went to Shafee’s office on July 28, 2017 to question him about the RM2.6 billion that was deposited into Najib’s bank account and some money that was later channelled to several individuals and companies.

“He repeatedly stated that the money (he received) was payment for legal services rendered to Najib, his party and the prime minister,” said the fourth prosecution witness.

DPP Afzainizam Abdul Aziz then produced a Sept 12, 2013 letter titled: “Settlement of outstanding fees owed by Barisan Nasional for counsel and solicitor work in the election petitions”.

Nasharudin said this was the first time he was seeing such a letter and Shafee did not produce it when he recorded the statement from him.

Nasharudin, who was then MACC’s anti-money laundering unit head, said Shafee told him the RM9.5 million which he received was used to buy a bungalow in Bukit Tunku.

“Based on answers given by Shafee, he received two cheques valued at RM4.3 million and RM5.2 million”, said Nasharuddin who was reading his witness statement.

Nasharudin said Shafee also told him the money had no relation to his appointment as deputy public prosecutor in the appeal against a High Court’s acquittal of Anwar Ibrahim in his sodomising case in 2008.

Shafee is charged with receiving proceeds from unlawful activity via cheques issued by Najib, which were remitted into 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.

Shafee is also facing two charges of being involved in the transactions of proceeds from unlawful activity by making inaccurate statements and in contravention of the Income Tax Act 1967 for financial years ending Dec 31, 2013 and Dec 31, 2014.

In the prosecution’s opening statement, it stated that on July 28, 2017, the accused said the RM9.5 million was his legal fees.

However, on Sept 11, 2018, he told MACC that he and Najib agreed for the money to be a loan, pending rationalisation of the fee already payable to him.

The hearing before High Court judge Muhammad Jamil Hussin continues.