PETALING JAYA: A former Malaysian Bar president has urged the Bar Council to file a complaint with the Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board against lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah for receiving RM9.5 million from Najib Razak, allegedly to prosecute Anwar Ibrahim in his Sodomy 2 case.
Zainur Zakaria said the council, which administers the day-to-day affairs of the Bar, should also lodge a police report on the matter.
“The Bar Council must not be seen to be indifferent. It should act forthwith,” he told FMT in a text message.
He added that the disclosure of the payment, based on an affidavit affirmed by an officer from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, necessitated a criminal investigation and a probe into professional misconduct.
In the affidavit filed in the Court of Appeal and released last week, Siti Rahayu Mohd Mumazaini alleged that two cheques were deposited into Shafee’s CIMB bank account on Sept 13, 2013 and Feb 17, 2014.
The first cheque was reportedly for RM4.3 million while the second was for RM5.2 million. Both cheques were issued from Najib’s AmIslamic Bank Bhd account.
Rahayu said the information was obtained when the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission froze Shafee’s bank account while investigating the lawyer for money laundering offences.
She said Shafee filed an affidavit in the High Court last year claiming he had not received the money.
“This information establishes that Anwar’s allegation that Shafee received payment of RM9.5 million from Najib was true and Shafee’s denial was untruthful,” she said in the affidavit filed in court last Thursday.
On Saturday, however, Shafee said the RM9.5 million payment from Najib was for his past services to Umno and other Barisan Nasional component parties.
He said he told Najib that his total fees to date for handling election petitions and giving advice in other cases amounted to RM21 million, but that he had agreed to accept payment of RM9.5 million.
Anwar filed a suit last June saying he had been denied a fair trial following allegations by whistleblower site Sarawak Report that RM9.5 million was transferred to Shafee from Najib’s private account.
The PKR leader said the Court of Appeal’s decision on March 7, 2014 to convict him of sodomising Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan was made in an unconstitutional manner.
The appeals court’s decision was upheld by the Federal Court on Feb 10, 2015.
The government had given Shafee a temporary licence to be made ad-hoc prosecutor to conduct the appeal which led the court to set aside Anwar’s acquittal by the High Court in 2012.
The Court of Appeal is scheduled to hear Anwar’s appeal against the High Court ruling to strike out the suit on Sept 14.