Shafee’s money laundering trial moved to March next year

Senior lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

KUALA LUMPUR: The trial of lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who faces two counts of money laundering charges involving RM9.5 million allegedly received from former prime minister Najib Razak, and two charges of making false statements to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN), has been moved to March next year.

High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah fixed the dates after Farhan Read, representing Shafee, requested that the earlier trial dates from July 8 to 11 and July 15 to 18 be vacated to allow Najib’s ongoing SRC International trial to be completed first.

Farhan told the court that the SRC International trial, in which Shafee is lead defence counsel, would continue on July 1 and that the dates fixed for July clashed with Shafee’s own trial dates.

“The SRC trial at the moment is prioritised, and we ask for the dates in July to be vacated,” he said.

Deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz acted for the prosecution.

Sequerah fixed 16 days for the trial from March 9 to 13, March 30 to April 2, May 12 to 14 and May 18 to 21 and set Aug 30, 2019 for case management.

On Sept 13 last year, Shafee, 66, pleaded not guilty to 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.

He was said to have committed the two offences at CIMB Bank Bhd, J2 & K1, Taman Tunku, Bukit Tunku, here.

The charges, under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, carry a fine not exceeding RM5 million, up to five years’ jail or both upon conviction.

Shafee also faces two charges of being involved in transactions of proceeds from unlawful activity by making inaccurate statements and in contravention of Paragraph 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967 for the financial years ending Dec 31, 2013 and Dec 31, 2014.

He allegedly committed the offences at LHDN’s Duta branch at Kompleks Pejabat Kerajaan, Jalan Tunku Abdul Halim here on March 3, 2015 and June 29, 2015.

If found guilty, Shafee could be jailed a maximum of 15 years and fined not less than five times the amount of proceeds from the unlawful activity.