KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today allowed lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah to have his RM9.5 million money laundering case heard at a higher court.
Justice Azman Abdullah allowed Shafee’s bid to transfer his case after deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz said there was no objection to the move.
“If both agree to it, there should be no problem,” Azman said.
Afzainizam said his team had written to Shafee’s counsel on Sept 28 informing them that they had no objection to the lawyer’s application.
“We now wait for the High Court to issue an order for the Sessions Court to hand over his case to the High Court registry,” he said.
Last month, Shafee claimed trial to four charges under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act at the Sessions Court, over the receipt of two deposits from former prime minister Najib Razak, totalling RM9.5 million, between August 2013 and January 2014.
He was also accused of making false declarations to the Inland Revenue Board for the same amount between March and June 2015.
He posted bail of RM1 million, and said he was considering moving his case to a higher court for trial as a High Court judge would be more suitable to hear it.
“I would want an independent judge to hear it, not someone who favours one side as I believe that we will win our case before an independent judge,” Shafee had said.
The RM9.5 million payout to Shafee was at the centre of PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim’s suit against the government to quash his Sodomy 2 conviction.
The High Court in November last year struck out the suit, saying Anwar had not given any evidence to support his allegations.
Anwar recently revealed the contents of an affidavit by an officer in the Attorney-General’s Chambers, showing documents to prove that two cheques from Najib were deposited into Shafee’s bank account.
Shafee, who was specially appointed by the government to lead the prosecution against Anwar, said his role as a fiat prosecutor in the trial was only to argue for the government’s appeal based on notes of proceeding taken during the trial.