PETALING JAYA: Muhammad Shafee Abdullah today rubbished allegations by former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim that he was involved in the extension of tenure for Chief Justice Raus Sharif and Court of Appeal President Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin.
“Anwar can say whatever he likes. I think it’s a lot of rubbish,” Shafee told reporters after attending a case at the Putrajaya Federal Court.
He was asked to respond to Anwar’s statement on Monday that he had received information that Shafee had played an integral role in the extensions.
“I understand that Shafee was involved in preparing the legal viewpoint and basis to decide on Raus and Zulkefli’s extension of service,” Anwar said, calling for Prime Minister Najib Razak “to immediately confirm if this is true or otherwise”.
Last Friday, the Prime Minister’s Office said that Justice Raus will continue to hold his position for another three years from Aug 4 while Justice Zulkefli would also have his appointment extended for another two years from Sept 28. This was also subject to them being made additional judges first.
Their extension tenure was met with objections by legal practitioners, former judges such as Gopal Sri Ram, Abdul Hamid Mohamad and the Malaysian Bar, who said the move to extend Justices Raus and Zulkefli tenures was unconstitutional.
However, Shafee and another senior lawyer Jagjit Singh said the appointments of both judges as additional judges were valid.
In another matter, Shafee said he will not respond to the allegation made by Sarawak Report in May which reported that he was one of “the biggest individual recipients of money from Najib’s 1MDB accounts”, receiving a sum of RM9.5 million in two separate payments.
Sarawak Report alleged that Shafee received two payments, first in September 2013 and then in February 2014.
The last payment was said to have been made a fortnight before former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim had his prior acquittal in the “Sodomy 2” case overturned by the Court of Appeal on March 7, 2014.
Shafee had acted as the lead prosecutor in the “Sodomy 2” appeal by the government, to get a conviction after Anwar had been acquitted by the High Court in 2012.
Last month, Anwar filed a court order to compel Prime Minister Najib Razak and Shafee to disclose their bank accounts, following allegations that RM9.5 million was transferred to the lawyer.
He wants the court to compel Najib and Shafee to produce bank accounts for the three months from August 2013 and another three months from January 2014.
He also wants Najib to reveal entries for the transactions on Sept 11, 2013 and Feb 17, 2014, allegedly showing payments of RM4.3 million and RM5.2 million, respectively.