PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal was told today Attorney-General (AG) Tommy Thomas was duty bound to reveal to the court that lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah received RM9.5 million from former premier Najib Razak to prosecute Anwar Ibrahim in his Sodomy 2 case.
“As an officer of the court, the AG is duty bound to do so (that Shafee received the money),” said senior federal counsel Zureen Elina Mohd Dom.
However, she maintained that the government will oppose the former opposition leader’s appeal to reinstate his civil suit despite the emergence of the fresh evidence.
“The position of the government is that the suit must be struck out,” she said.
Zureen Elina said this in response to a remark by the 3-member bench’s chairman Umi Kalthum Abdul Majid that she was curious about an affidavit filed by Siti Rahayu Mohd Mumazaini, a special officer to the AG, which revealed the payment to Shafee.
Rahayu’s affidavit, filed in the Court of Appeal last week, said two cheques were deposited into Shafee’s CIMB bank account on Sept 13, 2013 and Feb 17, 2014.
The first cheque was for RM4.3 million and the second for RM5.2 million. Both cheques were issued from Najib’s AmIslamic Bank Bhd account.
Rahayu said the information was obtained after the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission froze Shafee’s bank account while investigating the senior lawyer for alleged money laundering.
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.
The two other judges on the bench hearing Anwar’s appeal against a High Court ruling to strike out his suit were Harminder Singh Dhaliwal and Yeoh Wee Siam.
Shafee yesterday was charged in a Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court with four counts of money laundering related to the RM9.5 million received from Najib.
Anwar claimed he had been denied a fair trial following allegations by whistleblower site Sarawak Report that the money was transferred to Shafee from Najib’s private account.
Judge Azizah Nawawi, who rejected the suit, said Anwar’s claims regarding payment were “bare allegations” and that he had not given any evidence in support of his action.
The court also denied Anwar’s application to compel Najib and Shafee to reveal their bank account details.
In the Sodomy 2 trial in the High Court, judge Zabidin Mohamad Diah found Anwar not guilty in 2012.
However, the Court of Appeal overturned the acquittal in 2014 on a government appeal, and sentenced him to five years imprisonment.
Anwar appealed against the Court of Appeal’s decision but, on Feb 10, 2015, the Federal Court re-affirmed the conviction and five-year sentence.
Anwar said the Court of Appeal’s decision in 2014 to convict him of sodomising Saiful Bukhari Azlan was done in an unconstitutional manner.
The government had appointed Shafee an ad-hoc prosecutor to conduct the appeal which led the court to set aside Anwar’s acquittal by the High Court.
Meanwhile, the bench today adjourned Anwar’s appeal hearing as Shafee has filed an application to intervene in the proceedings, cross examine Rahayu and expunge the affidavit.
Shafee’s lawyer Harvinderjit Singh said the documents were filed yesterday and copies were served to the government and counsel for Anwar.
Lawyer Gopal Sri Ram, who is appearing for Anwar, later told reporters he had instruction to oppose Shafee being made a party to the proceedings.
The Court of Appeal registry has fixed Nov 27 to hear Shafee’s applications.